Do you know what to do in the event of an emergency?
Being able to communicate with family, friends and first responders during any dangerous event is critical. However, the everyday communication devices that we have come to rely on may not work at such a time. Here are some steps you can take before an emergency strikes to help you stay in touch, courtesy of www.GetPrepared.ca.
- Keep at least one corded phone in your home (if you have a landline). Cordless phones rely on electricity and will not work during a power outage.
- Keep extra batteries or a charger for your mobile device in your emergency kit.
- Keep contacts up to date on your mobile devices. A printed up-to-date copy of your contacts should be part of your emergency plan.
- Save safe meeting location(s) on your phone’s mapping application. If available, download applications from your provincial or territorial emergency management organization to help you plan. Ensure instructions and a diagram or a clearly marked map of your safe meeting location(s) is included in your emergency plan.
Keep these tips in mind for staying in touch and reducing network congestion:
- If you must use a phone, keep your conversation brief and convey only vital information.
- If possible, use non-voice channels like text messaging, email or social media, as these use less bandwidth than phone calls and may work even when phone service has been disrupted.
- Monitoring social media channels for updates from authorities can be a great way to stay informed. However, these channels are not typically monitored 24/7, so the best way to report an emergency is to call 9-1-1.
- If you have been evacuated and have call-forwarding on your home phone, forward calls to your cell phone.
- Conserve battery power by reducing screen brightness, keeping calls brief, and closing apps not in use.
- To reduce network congestion immediately after an emergency, avoid using your mobile device to stream videos, download entertainment, or play video games.