TIP: How to Prepare Wireless Devices During an Emergency

Over 98% of Americans own a mobile device and more than 70% of 911 calls are made on a mobile device, yet in the case of an emergency, what do you do? Wireless access can help save lives during an emergency, yet you never know when the next catastrophe will strike. Here are a few easy ways to keep your mobile device prepared in case of an emergency.

  • Always keep a spare charger and portable charger around. Keep these devices n a waterproof bag and store in a safe location. When those aren’t available, conserve your phone’s battery life by:
    • Turning on airplane mode or battery saver mode when you are not actively using your device.
    • In the case your phone doesn’t have a battery saver mode, turn down your screens brightness.
    • Close all unused apps, and turn off all background notifications.
    • Disable Wi-Fi locator and Bluetooth when not in use
  • Educate yourself on Wireless Emergency Alerts. Wireless Emergency Alerts are free, text-like notifications that tell you when there’s a dangerous situation – manmade or natural disasters like a hurricane or earthquake – where you happen to be. This is a voluntary program supported by wireless operators to help make Americans safer. If you have children, find out how the school will contact you in an emergency
  • Save emergency phone numbers, addresses, and emails of your local first responders (fire, police, EMS). Also, designate at least one “In Case of Emergency” (ICE) contact in your phone for emergency personnel, such as “ICE Jane (Mom).” Try to have at least one ICE contact who is out of the area as your point of contact, so when disaster strikes your area, your ICE contact can assist. Notify your ICE contact of any medical issues or special needs.
    Download apps beforehand such as: FEMA, AccuWeather and flashlight to help keep you updated as the situation unfolds.
    Take photos/videos of your property before and after an emergency for insurance purposes.

During an Emergency, use text messaging or social media to let everyone know that you are fine. Keep it simple, and only provide necessary information. Avoid making voice calls unless it’s an emergency to prevent overloading the network. Voice calls take up more space on the wireless network and it’s important to minimize unnecessary voice calls so our emergency responders are able to communicate.

Here are some additional tips for calling 911 during an emergency:

– Don’t hang up and immediately redial, this will clog the 911 system
– Stay on the line until the 911 operator tells you that it is safe to end the call
– Have your location information on hand
– Call if you can, but text 911 if you can’t.