Cell Phones in an Emergency
Cell phones have become valuable to our lives – providing internet access, the latest weather forecast, and access to our favorite social networking sites. While cell phones can be a great convenience, they can also be a lifeline after an emergency!
A cell phone is a data center, with the ability to store and access a large amount of information quickly. So why not tap into the power of your cell phone, whether it's the latest-and-greatest model, or a phone that’s been around a while, and be ready to use it in case a disaster strikes?
In recent disasters, cell phones have been an invaluable resource for disaster survivors. Everyone can take steps to make cell phones a handy resource before, during, and after an emergency.
- Store useful phone numbers – Check the numbers for your emergency contacts to make sure they’re up to date. Be sure to save the contact information for your local police and fire departments, as well as your utility companies. That way, you’ll be able to quickly report any service or power outages following an emergency.
- Create a group for your emergency contacts – Some cell phones allow you to create contact groups or lists, making it easy to send a single text message to a group to let them know your status after an emergency. Many social networking sites allow you to create a list or group of contacts as well, making it easy to share your status with your emergency contacts following a disaster.
- Sign up to receive updates from the local/state emergency management agencies in your area, along with any other accounts that could provide you with meaningful information before, during, and after a disaster.
- Bookmark useful mobile sites – If your cell phone has internet access, take advantage of websites that are formatted to display information within a mobile browser. The National Weather Service, Center for Disease Control, and FEMA have sites you can bookmark today.
- Have a portable power pack to charge your cell phone! Having an extra battery for your phone (or a solar charger) in your emergency kit will ensure you can use your device if the power stays out for an extended period of time.