The Do 1 Thing site won the Awareness to Action category of FEMA’s 2014 Individual and Community Preparedness Awards. It’s a 12-month program of small steps that you can take to increase your personal and household preparedness. Throughout 2015, DEM will feature Do 1 Thing items during our weekly blog post series of One Thing Wednesdays. Check back here every week for a new preparedness activity or tip!
July’s focus is communication. In a disaster, how will your family get in touch with each other? How will you report damage, emergencies, or dangerous situations to the authorities?
In recent years, cellular phone service has become ubiquitous and the capabilities of modern smartphones have made them integral parts of our lives. These factors have led many households to move away from traditional land-line phones. Yet in some disasters, a land-line phone may work even while cellular service is limited or completely disrupted. Land-lines also have the advantage of being registered to a fixed address, which can help the speed of an emergency response. If it’s in your budget, consider maintaining a land-line home phone for these reasons.
If you do have a land-line, have at least one conventional corded handset. Cordless handsets are convenient for walking around the house but the base station still requires power from a wall outlet. Therefore, a power outage will take most cordless phones offline.
Keep a spare charger for your cell phone in your car, purse, or go-bag. If your power is out at home, you can still charge your cell phone from your car (just don’t run the engine in an unventilated space!). Also check out our other tips on keeping your cell phone charged.