For most people, their number one priority during an emergency (whether it’s an earthquake, snow storm, hurricane, etc.) is contacting their family and friends to see if they are safe.
To ensure that you get through to your loved ones, here are some other tips that you can follow to stay connected:
- Emergency contacts – Maintain a list of emergency contacts in your cell phone that you can call immediately without having to look up the numbers.
- Limit your non-emergency phone calls – To free up cell phone “space” for the network try not to make too many phone calls. If you do, make them short and brief so that others can get through on the network.
- 10 second rule – If you do decide to use your phone wait 10 seconds between each call to allow for the phone network to clear. Do not keep hitting “redial” because it will clog up the network.
- Stay charged – Have batteries and car charger adapters available to recharge your cell phone in case the battery dies.
- Call forwarding – If you have a land line have your phone number forwarded to your wireless number.
- Text messaging – Sending a text message is a quick and easy way to see if someone is okay. Texting will still work even if your cell phone service doesn’t.
Social media is another way to stay connected with family and friends in an emergency situation. You can stay up-to-date with others on these networks through a smartphone or a computer.
Here are some ways you can communicate through different social networks:
- Find out if important websites (weather services, local news, etc.) have a Twitter account and start following them.
- Tweet about news and information related to the emergency.
- Add the # hashtag to share information about a common topic.
- “Like” other important websites and comment on their updates.
- Update your status with news and information that others will find valuable.
- Share links to other important websites.
- Use the chat function to communicate with others.