AT&T Offers Winter Storm Tips, Advises Families to Have Communication Plan
AT&T offers the following communications tips for use before, during and after a storm:
- Have a family communications plan in place. Designate someone out of the area as a central contact, and make certain that all family members know whom to contact if they become separated. Most important, practice your emergency plan in advance.
- Use text messaging. During a peak emergency situation, text messages will often go through quicker than voice calls because they require less network resources. All of AT&T's wireless devices are text messaging capable.
- Take advantage of weather text-alert programs. AT&T participates in a number of text alert school closing notification programs. AT&T's customers should check their local news websites to see if weather related text alert programs are available in their area.
- Make sure you have a "Winter Storm Phone." It is a good idea to have a wireless phone on hand and at least one corded (landline) telephone that is not dependent on electricity in case of a power outage. Cordless telephones usually have receivers that require electricity, so they won't work if you lose your power.
- Keep non-emergency calls to a minimum. If there is severe weather, chances are many people will be attempting to place calls to loved ones, friends and business associates.
- Program all of your emergency contact numbers and e-mail addresses into your mobile phone. Numbers should include the police department, fire station and hospital, as well as your family members.
- Keep your wireless phone's battery charged at all times. Have an alternative plan to recharge your battery in case of a power outage, such as charging your wireless device by using a car charger or having extra charged mobile phone batteries or disposable mobile phone batteries on hand.
- Keep your wireless phone dry. The biggest threat to your device during a storm is water, so keep your equipment safe from the elements by storing it in a baggie or some other type of protective covering.
- Track the storm and access weather information on your wireless device. Many homes lose power during severe weather. If you have a wireless device that provides access to the Internet, you can watch weather reports and get regular updates on your phone.
- Take advantage of location-based mapping technology. Services such as AT&T Navigator and AT&T FamilyMap can help you avoid traffic congestion from downed trees or power lines, as well as track a family member's wireless device in case you get separated.
- Use your camera phone, take photos -- even video clips -- of damaged property for your insurance company from your device.