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.