Preparing for Potential Outages

Tips for your phone

Here are a few tips to keep your cell phone working longer if you aren't able to charge it for a few days:

  • Fully charge your laptop, and save that charge for your phone. You can plug your phone into your laptop's USB port to charge it.
  • When the power goes out, turn off all the radios on your phone you’re not using: WiFi, Bluetooth, etc. Put the phone in “Airplane mode” or turn it off entirely if you aren’t using it and aren’t anticipating incoming calls or texts.
  • Turn down the brightness on your screen.
  • Send text messages instead of making phone calls.
  • Restart your phone to stop any unnecessary apps that may be running.
  • Use a cell phone car charger.
  • Turn off all “push” notifications on your phone. Instructions for Android and iPhone

Create a social network communication plan

Social networks are often a reliable and quick way to communicate with family and friends during an emergency or power outage. Here’s how to get started:

  1. Join a social networking site like Facebook, Twitter or Google+.
  2. Build out short lists of contacts on your social networking sites of the most important people you should alert in case of emergency. You can do this easily by building a circle of emergency contacts on Google +, by building an emergency contact group on Facebook or building a Twitter list.
  3. Prepare your contact lists in advance so you can send notices quickly during an outage.
  4. It also is a good idea to ask an out of state friend or family member to be your family’s emergency point person.  If a crisis or natural disaster happens, local networks may be down, but a call or text message may get through to someone outside the affected area.

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