Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Mobile Lifelines

During extreme weather events, mobile devices can be essential tools for keeping in touch with family and monitoring response and recovery efforts. Before a severe storm hits, make sure your mobile device is prepared.

Start a Texting Tree
When communication channels are disrupted, texting may be the only available way to stay connected. Create a network of contacts on your smartphone so you can quickly reach out to others in your community.

Set up Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA)
WEA are emergency text messages sent through your wireless carrier by government authorities, including local and state public safety agencies, FEMA, the FCC, the Department of Homeland Security and the National Weather Service. The alerts can help you stay informed when you may not have access to television or radio and can help keep you safe during a crisis. Messages include extreme weather warnings, local emergencies requiring evacuation or immediate action, AMBER Alerts and presidential alerts during a national emergency. For information about which mobile devices are WEA-capable and carrier participation, visit www.ctia.org/wea or contact your wireless carrier.

Use mobile banking and insurance apps.
Banking and insurance apps allow you to move money, pay bills, deposit checks and file claims from your smartphone.

Prepare for power outages
If you have advanced warning of a severe weather event, make sure to fully charge your phone. Keep a car phone charger and spare battery on hand as well; if power is out for an extended period, your car can serve as a valuable energy source.

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