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  • Phones/Communication

    Phones and usual methods for communicating may not be available during and immediately following a disaster. Plan ahead for how you will communicate with loved ones in case you are separated.
    • Long-distance phone lines often work before local phone lines, so identify an out-of-state contact person all family members will call to check in.  Provide this person with the contact information for all people you want to keep informed of your situation. Share this person's contact information with family and friends as well.
    • Avoid making non-urgent phone calls after a disaster – even if phone lines are un-damaged, increased phone traffic can jam phone circuits.
    • Cordless phones or phone systems which require electricity or rechargeable batteries may not work if the power goes out.  Make sure you have a backup phone that requires no electricity.
    • Keep coins in your go-bag. Payphones may work before other phone lines.
    • Don't count on your cell phone to make calls - increased traffic on cell phone networks can quickly overload wireless capacity.  But do consider that when cellular networks are jammed and calls cannot be completed, text messages or emails will often go through.
    • Consider a solar cell phone charger or a charger that does not rely on electricity.  
    • Record an outgoing message on your voicemail so that callers can be re-assured of your safety status.
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