Family Preparedness Friday

Texts, Texts, and More Texts

Did you know that in times of a disaster that you may have better luck sending a text message than making a phone call. Text messages can often get around network disruptions when a phone call might not be able to get through.

Photo courtesy of Small_Realm on Flickr.

To help prepare your family you should teach every family member how to text, and just as importantly, who to text. Creating an emergency contact list for each family member to carry with them is very important. Be sure every member of your family knows the phone number and has a cell phone, coins or a prepaid phone card to call the emergency contact. If you have a cell phone, program that person(s) as “ICE” (In Case of Emergency) in your phone. If you are in an accident, emergency personnel will often check your ICE listings in order to get a hold of someone you know. Make sure to tell your family and friends that you’ve listed them as emergency contacts.

Did you know you can also help your family become prepared for disasters by subscribing to receive text updates from FEMA and your local office of Emergency Management? For FEMA updates and preparedness tips text “PREPARE” to 43362 (4FEMA).

Another way to get in contact with your family following a disaster could be through the use of social media like Facebook or Twitter. When the earthquake hit the east coast of the United States on August 23, 2011, Twitter was flooded with tweets mentioning the word “earthquake.” In fact, Facebook representatives stated that the word “earthquake” appeared in over 3 million status updates within 4 minutes of the 5.9 magnitude quake hitting.

So what is your family’s plan to get in contact with each other following a disaster?