The Federal Communications Commission has compiled a list of rules to follow when it comes to your phone in an emergency.
The tips are designed to ensure you can communicate on your iPhone or Android before, during or after an environmental disaster.
The FCC is an official independent agency and regulator of the United States federal government.
It governs communications by radio, television, cable, satellite, and cable throughout the United States.
Environmental disasters can disrupt communications networks when lines are damaged, power fails, or overloads occur.
The FCC stressed that according to its emergency rules, it’s important to keep in touch with family, establish ICE contacts, sign up for emergency texting, keep the phone charged, and more.
“When a disaster strikes, you want to be able to communicate by receiving and relaying information to others,” the FCC said.
“You may need to call 9-1-1 for help, locate friends or family, or let loved ones know you’re okay.”
Here is a breakdown of the FCC’s emergency rules for your phone in these situations.
EMERGENCY PHONE TIPS
Implementation phone tips to prepare for a disaster.
- Prepare a family contact sheet
- Set up In Case of Emergency (ICE) contacts in your mobile phone
- Subscribe to local or state government SMS alert services to receive notifications in the event of a disaster.
Your family contact sheet should include at least one out-of-town contact who may be better able to reach family members in an emergency.
ICE is used so that emergency personnel can contact these people for you when you are unable to use your phone.
Let your ICE contacts know they are programmed into your phone and let them know of any medical conditions or other special needs you may have.
Telephone tips for implementation during and after a disaster.
- Keep all phone calls short. If you need a phone,
- Wait ten seconds before dialing again to avoid network congestion.
- Try to convey only essential information to rescue workers or family.
Battery saving tips
In these situations, it’s important to conserve your cell phone’s battery for emergencies.
You can do this by reducing the brightness of your screen, putting your phone on airplane mode, and closing apps that don’t use power, unless you are required to use the phone under the FCC.
The FCC also recommends that you be able to charge your cellphone in the car during a power outage.
Make sure your car is in a well-ventilated place and take it out of the garage.
Also, do not go to your car until the danger has passed.
You can also use your car radio to listen to important news.