“What If” Wednesday: How to Find Relatives in Case of a Disaster

Local DisasterWhat if… our area has a disaster?  Do you know how to find your friends and relatives?

In the last couple of months our country as seen some disasters, from the Boston bombing to the tornadoes that hit Oklahoma.  Whether we have days to plan or no notice at all, finding out if our friends and family are OK is our top priority.  When a disaster happens, cell towers could be overwhelmed or even damaged from a storm making it hard for us to contact our loved ones.  Here are some tips to help you get in touch:

  • Don’t make a phone call.  Leave the phone lines open for emergency personnel.
  • Use Text.  Text messages use less bandwidth and the smaller data packets can often get through much faster than voice.  Make sure you have the mobile numbers of your friends and family in your contact list.
  • Use Smartphone Apps.  Cellular networks and phone lines are generally limited to only one communication method whereas apps like Twitter or Facebook allow you to leave a message in several different ways.

If you are the person someone is trying to reach, then:

  • Find a hardwired data connection if at all possible, such as a cable internet connection.
  • Tell us you are OK!  Use email and/or Facebook, Twitter, and Google + to tell your frineds and family your condition and whereabouts.  Let the on-line world know and let the Internet work for you.
  • Update your voicemail message.  If you can make one phone call, make it to your voicemail.  Change your outgoing message so when others try to call you and it goes straight to voicemail, they can get an update on your current status.

In case you are unable to use your phone, label your emergency contact in your phone as ICE (In Case of Emergencies) . This will help the authorities easily find the person you would like contacted.

These tips were taken from Steve Anderson’s TechTips newsletter dated April 18, 2013.

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Kemner-Iott is a community-based insurance agency with Ann Arbor, Cassopolis, and Adrian locations.  If you have questions concerning insurance policies, please call one of our friendly agents in your area.  Contact us online with questions, or call one of our local insurance agencies:

Adrian:  517.265.7000
Ann Arbor:  734.971.1000
Cassopolis:  269.445.2425

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