Creating a family emergency communication plan is an important step in becoming prepared. Your family may not be together when disaster strikes. Create a plan on how family members can make contact and to let others know you are all right. Often in an emergency, phone lines including cell phones will not allow you to make local calls when long distance calls will go through. FEMA recommends to identify a friend or family member that lives out of the area with a different area code. With their knowledge make sure all your family members know who to call and their phone number. If you have a cell phone, program the long distance emergency contact number into your phone as “ICE” (In Case of Emergency). If you are involved in an accident, often emergency service workers are trained to check your phone for an “ICE” number so they can contact someone you know.
Teach family members (or have your children teach you) how to text message. Text messages can often get around network disruptions when phone calls can’t get through.
By Ed Mayer
Shady Cove Emergency Manager