Tips for Communication
- Everyone should carry with them a card with the out-of-state contact's name, address, and day and evening phone numbers. Let your children's teachers know who the out-of-state contact is for your family. That way, if your children are at school and you cannot pick them up, school representatives will know whom to relay a message concerning where your children will be taken.
- Each family member should carry a phone card or enough change for several phone calls.
- One woman whose family lives in California has designated her sister who is a stay-at-home mom in Michigan as the out-of-state contact. Family members carry laminated cards in their wallets with the following information: (1) emergency meeting place with the address (outside the home); (2) alternate meeting place and address (outside the neighborhood); and (3) name and day and evening phone numbers of out-of-state contact.
- It may be helpful to Replace out in advance if you have a ham radio operator in your area. They are very helpful and can deliver messages from both private and community sources during and after a disaster. If a pay telephone isn't readily available, and your out-of-state contact is several states away, you can communicate via this type of relay system. Your local ham can contact another ham that will contact another ham, and so on, until they Replace one within your out-of-state contact's area. The ham operator closest to your contact can then phone the contact and deliver any messages.
- A battery-powered or hand crank radio is helpful in monitoring the status of the disaster. Be sure to keep a fresh supply of batteries on hand. Check expiration dates on the batteries and rotate them regularly. Do not keep batteries inside the radio because they expire more quickly and may leak.
- When charged, most cell phones are able to call 9-1-1 even when they are not active. It is wise to have a cell phone (even not activated) when traveling or for emergency use.