The information on this page is adapted from the Ready Campaign.
Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so it is important to plan in advance: how you will contact one another; how you will get back together; and what you will do in different situations.
Family Emergency Plan
Text first, talk second. Making a phone call places a much greater burden on cellular networks than texting, and text messages are more likely to go through during periods of telephone network congestion.
It may be easier to make a long-distance phone call than to call across town, so an out-of-town contact may be in a better position to communicate among separated family members.
Be sure every member of your family knows the phone number and has coins or a prepaid phone card to call the emergency contact.
You may have trouble getting through, or the telephone system may be down altogether, but be patient.
Alternative communications methods may still work, even if phone lines are down or overwhelmed. Computer-based instant messaging and email are less likely to become overwhelmed. SMS text messaging on cellphones may still work even if you can’t place a cellular phone call.