As part of National Preparedness Month, the Postal Service is encouraging employees to make sure their personal mobile devices are ready for an emergency and know how to use the device’s features prior to such an event.
Having a properly prepared mobile device helps keep you alerted, powered and able to contact the correct people during an emergency.
Here are a few suggestions for your personal devices:
• Current contacts: In addition to family and friends, verify you have important contacts added to your cellphone such as hospitals, veterinary clinic, schools, insurance companies and local utility companies. Delete contacts you no longer need.
Keeping your contacts updated will make it easy to quickly reach the correct people quickly to provide, receive and verify information during an emergency.
• Sign up: Before a disaster, follow trusted government agencies and weather apps to stay up to date with official and accurate information before, during and after a disaster.
• Charge: Prior to severe weather, fully charge your personal electronic devices. Keep a portable backup power source with you, so you’re not scrambling to find one during an emergent event.
Become familiar with power-saving methods and settings on your device to conserve battery power when charging isn’t available. Such methods include battery-saving mode, airplane mode, turning off automatic updates and Bluetooth, and turning down your brightness.
• Text rather than call: Text messages use less bandwidth than phone calls, so text communication is often more reliable during emergency situations. Additionally, group texting allows you to provide a safety status to friends and family with a single message.
• Built in tools: Familiarize yourself with your phone’s emergency SOS features, compass, flashlight and location services so you know how to use them when needed.
The Department of Homeland Security’s Ready.gov website has additional tips to help ensure your mobile device preparedness.