In an emergency, friends, family, and caregivers—especially those who live outside the affected area—will want to know where you are and if you are okay. Peace of mind is important. Plan and practice how you will communicate and where you will reunite with loved ones in an emergency.
- Create an Emergency Action Plan that includes important phone numbers and identifies at least two (2) emergency meeting places, where your family can reunite if separated by an emergency.
- Microchip your pets. Microchips are, in general, inexpensive and can help you find a lost pet IF you keep the information up-to-date.
- Send text messages to your family, friends, and out-of-town contact. In many cases, text messages will go through when a phone call may not.
- In addition to having contact information for people like your healthcare provider, it is important that people (e.g., your employer and your child’s teacher) know how to get in touch with you in the event, for example, of an emergency at work or your child’s school.
- Fully charge your cellphone and back-up power sources if you know a disaster, such as a hurricane, is coming.
- Have back-up charging and alternative power sources for your mobile phone. Invest in a car charger, backup batteries, and power banks.
- Limit your phone calls to only critical communications so you conserve battery life and keep the lines open for emergency communications.
- Download apps and join social networks and private social media groups specific to your neighborhood or community.
- Update your social media statuses and feeds with information about your location and well-being after an emergency.
- Record a voicemail greeting that includes information on your whereabouts and well-being.
- Know how to use all emergency alert features on your phone. Some brands of smartphone, for example, allow users to call the local emergency number without unlocking the device.
- Know how to conserve your cellphone battery by turning down the screen brightness, closing apps you are not using, turning on battery saver/low power mode, etc.
- Check in on the American Red Cross Safe and Well websiteexternal icon.
Be prepared to be separated from others in an emergency. It’s important that everyone in your household know how to inform family, friends, and caregivers of their well-being and whereabouts. Cellphones (e.g., text messaging), the internet ( American Red Cross’ Safe and Well websiteexternal icon), and social media (e.g., Facebook’s Safety Check feature) can help you stay connected. If you’re a parent, a caregiver, or a pet owner, make sure your Emergency Action Plan accounts all family members, including children, older adults, and pets.