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Our phones are our lifelines - but it's easy to forget that they're affected by power outages and disasters too.
When an emergency or disaster effects an area, the FCC advises that we:
Call 911 only when no local phone numbers are available for highway accidents or other non-life-threatening incidents.
Limit non-emergency phone calls so emergency response teams can get through. (Making one phone call to an out-of-area emergency contact so that person can then notify other family, friends, and work colleagues helps with this.)
Wait at least 10 second before redialing a call that doesn't connect.
Try using text in non-emergency situations.
Conserve cell phone's battery by putting it in "airplane" mode or turning it off when not actually using it (so it doesn't use power constantly looking to make a connection).
If evacuated, forward a home landline to cell phone.
This video has captions in Chinese, English, Filipino, French, Korean, Spanish, & Vietnamese.
Extended power outage: see the links above for sheltering-at-home.
Include your animals
The U.S. Weather Service advises:
Include your pets in your emergency plans
Build a separate emergency kit for your pets
Make sure to keep digital records and/or pictures to identify your pet after a disaster in case you become separated
Create a list of places that accept pets if an emergency happens
Stay up to date
Ideally, preparing for emergencies isn't something we do only once. It's important for emergency supplies to be regularly updated (batteries are fresh, food is still good) and that our information is current.
This calendar of monthly activities can make it easier to keep emergency supplies and preparedness skills up to date: