Emergency Preparedness .
With nearly all Americans owning a mobile phone, wireless plays a key role in keeping Americans safe during emergencies and natural disasters like hurricanes, wildfires, and tornadoes.
In case of emergency, here are some tips from CTIA and its member companies to help you prepare.
Preparing for an emergency:
- Carry a spare cellphone charger and external charging device. Keep devices and chargers in a waterproof bag. Charge your batteries when a disaster or storm is approaching.
- Confirm your device receives Wireless Emergency Alerts.
- Download emergency apps including FEMA, AccuWeather, and Red Cross Emergency to help keep you updated as the situation unfolds. Make sure you can access travel and transportation apps in case you need to evacuate. If you don’t have a flashlight app built into your mobile phone, download one.
- Save phone numbers and email addresses for police, fire, hospital, school, vet, and other emergency resources in your phone. If you are a parent, find out how your children’s school or school district will notify you during a weather or other emergency.
- Know how to forward your home phone number to your mobile device.
- Take photos and/or videos of your property periodically to have available for insurance purposes. Back up your files to a secure storage space to ensure images and videos are saved separately from your device.
During an emergency or disaster:
- Use voice calls only for important communication and keep them short, since they take up more space on the wireless network. Instead use text messaging, email or social media to let your loved ones know your status. Keep messages short and simple.
- Conserve your cellphone’s battery life:
- Whenever possible, use airplane mode and turn on your phone’s power saving mode.
- Reduce your screen’s brightness and adjust your settings to ensure your phone’s screen goes into sleep mode faster.
- Close unused apps and turn off push notifications so nothing is running in the background.
- Turn off Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and location-based services when you don’t need them.
- Set your email to arrive manually rather than having it automatically sent to your device.
- Check your local carrier store to see if they are open as a charging station during emergencies.
- For 9-1-1, call if you can or text if you can’t. Stay on the line until the operator tells you it’s safe to end the call. When possible, have detailed location information ready.