People usually don’t think about how they will stay connected with loved ones should an emergency happen. Several years ago, we were affected by three hurricanes here in North Florida. They were Frances, Jean, and Ivan. We lost power for three days during Frances, and for two days during Ivan. We found out quickly why it was important to stay connected during a hurricane. Following are some tips of how to stay connected during a major hurricane.
1) The first thing to remember is that your cordless phone will of course not work once electricity has gone out. You need a traditional wire phone for this. Some phone companies are calling them hurricane phones, because people are requesting to buy them for that purpose. However, if your phone lines are down, then this won’t work either.
2) Everyone in my family has cell phones. Before Hurricane Frances, we made sure all of our phones were charged. We figured with four phones and using them sparingly, each phone would last possibly two days before the battery would die. We then go very smart and purchased a car phone charger just in case we would be without power for a long period of time and could not charge our phones. Still remember to use your cell phone only for emergency calls. During Hurricane Frances, the cell phone companies and users were reporting problems getting connected due to so much cell phone traffic via the towers. if you get a fast busy signal, which means you did not connect with the network, hang up and try the call again in a few seconds. Remind all members of the family that the cell phones are being saved for important phone calls and for emergency situations.
3) With all the rain, keep your phone dry. Water is instant death for a cell phone with all of the electrical components. We usually charge out phones by the window seal, which we had to open due to no power for air conditioning. We moved our phones to a dry location away from windows and doors.
4) Authorities advise to forward your home phone to your cell phone so relatives can keep in touch. This is especially important if you should be evacuated. Even if your local phone service is interrupted, you will still receive phone calls forwarded from your home land line to your cell phone.
5) Use your cell phone to access weather information if you have Internet access. Most local TV stations have direct access to their station’s web site to access weather, so be sure to check this out prior to the storm. That way, you will be able to determine if the storm has passed. This is especially helpful if you are being evacuated. That way, you will have weather information no matter where you are.
Hopefully you will not find yourself in a similar situation. These tips will work also for any emergency situation you might find yourself in. We forget how valuable staying connected is, until we find ourselves in one of these situations and find out it is vital.