Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Emergency Communication

A key part of disaster response is to have open lines of communication with family, friends, neighbors, Church leaders and community leaders. Identify and plan for alternative communication methods that can be used in case the phone system, cellular phone service, power grid, or vehicle transportation routes are disrupted during a disaster. Communication methods may include:

  • Internet communications (including e-mail, social media, and instant messaging).
  • Text messaging (may be available even if voice service is not).
  • Ham radio, amateur radio/walkie-talkie
  • Personal contact via walking, cycling, etc.

Alternate modes of communication are essential to an emergency response plan, but it's also important to make sure you have a communication plan for your family and friends. During an emergency, local phone lines may become inundated with calls and you may not be able to get through. However, you may be able to get a call through to someone who lives outside of the disaster area. Choose a family member or friend who lives out of state that you can call in case of emergency. Tell all of your family members who your out-of-state contact will be, so they will know who to contact in an emergency to find out if you are okay.

And, don't forget to write down important phone numbers, addresses and other pertinent information. You may not always be able to access your information electronically!

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