We have become accustom to communicating with family and friends virtually anytime we please and often within just a few seconds. But after a disaster our ability to communicate will be hampered significantly. Cell phone towers may be damaged. Phone lines will be overwhelmed. Internet and electricity service interrupted. You need to plan ahead for your family's need to communicate. Here are some tips to consider.
After a disaster there is a much greater likelihood of getting a text message through to your loved ones than a phone call. Texting should be your first choice in attmpting to make contact with your loved ones. It will also help alleviate the overload on the phone system.
OUT OF STATE CONTACT
Your family should designate a friend or relative who lives out of state to be your emergency contact after a disaster. If your family is separated when disaster strikes, every family member should call the Out of State Contact to check in. Phone calls made out of the area have a greater likelihood of getting through than trying to call someone within the area effected by disaster. Make sure eveyone in your family knows who the Out of State Contact is and has their current contact information.
Your Out of State Contact may want to also consider calling each family member after they hear about a disaster in your area. Their phone call coming in from out of state has a better chance of getting through overloaded phone lines if you are unable to call out.
PRINTED PHONE LISTS
The technology of our cell phones and home phones has made memorizing numbers a thing of the past. If your cell phone was lost, damaged, or had a dead battery would you be able to call your family and friends from a landline? Keep a printed phone list of all your important contacts in your emergency kit. You may also want to consider having copies of them in your car, purse or wallet.
CELL PHONE CHARGERS
Because we rely so heavily on our cell phones and other electronic devices, consider adding to your emergency kit cell phone chargers that can be connected to your car, or are solar powered.
Chino Notify is one method that the City of Chino will use to contact its residents and businesses in the event of an emergency. This service is free and it allows you to register your home phone, cell phone, email address, text messaging address, TTY/TTD, etc. You can receive emergency information as well as community alerts about a variety of topics. Click here to sign up for Chino Notify.