Plan for how you will communicate with loved ones after a disaster.

  • Long distance phone lines often work before local phone lines, so identify an out-of-state contact and provide this person with the contact information of people you want to keep informed of your situation. Share this information with your family and friends locally.
  • Avoid making non-urgent phone calls after a disaster - even if phone lines are not damaged, increased phone traffic can jam phone circuits.
  • Don’t count on your cell phone; increased traffic on cell phone networks can quickly overload wireless capacity. Record an outgoing message on your voicemail so that callers can be reassured of your safety status.
  • Keep coins in your go-bag. Pay phones are more likely to work before other phone lines.
  • Cordless phones or phone systems require electricity, so make sure you have a backup phone that requires no electricity.
  • After an earthquake or explosion, check all your telephones to be sure they have not shaken off the hook and are tying up a line.
  • Report only emergencies using the 911 system