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 un-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.

  • Keep coins in your go-bag. Payphones 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 emergency, check all your telephones to be sure they have not fallen off the hook and are tying up a line.