Cellphone disaster preparedness.

Cecil County, Maryland has put a page on their emergency management website outlining how to prepare your cellphone for disaster situations.  They not only point out how to use your cellphone during a disaster but also what to think of when shopping for a phone and how to buy one that will serve you best as your primary method of communication if a disaster occurs.

During a major emergency your cell phone may become a lifeline in many ways. Is your cell phone up to the task? Particularly if you have a smart phone such as an iPhone, Android, or Blackberry, there are many resources available that may be helpful in the case of an emergency. This becomes even more critical if you have lost power and/or internet.

The “tip-sheet” contains 5 excellent tips that everyone should consider when purchasing a new phone:

1.  Points out what kind of phone will work with wireless emergency alerts:

  • If you are shopping for a new phone, select one that is capable of receiving CMAS / Wireless Emergency Alerts messages. Your carrier should be able to direct you to these phones.

2. Highlights specific information regarding the county’s notification system and social media presence:

  • Ensure that you have registered your cellular number with Cecil County’s emergency notification system. This system is only used in the event of extreme emergencies.
  • If you use Facebook or Twitter on your phone, ensure that you are following our Facebook or Twitter accounts. (In an emergency, any phone that can send and receive text messages can receive DES’ Twitter feed by texting “follow @CecilCountyDES” to 40404).

3. Points to and provides hyperlinks to local response partners, including the power company:

  • If your home is served by Delmarva Power, download their iPhone/iPadAndroid, or Blackberry app to report outages and view outage status.
  • Search for an app that will provide you with weather alerts and weather radar. There are many free weather apps for each operating system.

4. Describes cloud computing options and why they are important:

  • Consider hosting emergency information such as insurance policies and a home inventory in an online repository such as Google Drive, iCloud, or Dropbox so that it will be accessable to you on your phone or from any computer after an emergency.

5. Describes power issues and how to address them:

  • Consider purchasing a solar or hand-cranked charger for your cell phone.

Full article can be found here

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