Last weekend’s storm left a devastating trail across San Diego, with strong winds, heavy rain and flying debris. As El Niño conditions continue this month and next, it’s good to remember that a mobile device can play a big part in safety. To help residents stay safe during this season, AT&T San Diego has prepared a list of tips and recommendations below.
Winter Storm Mobile Safety Tips
- Keep your wireless phone batteries charged at all times. Have an alternate plan to recharge your battery in case of a power outage. Consider using your car charger for your device, or have a portable battery charger on hand.
- Keep your wireless phone dry. The biggest threat to your device during winter storms is water, so keep your equipment safe from the elements. Store it in a baggie or some other type of protective covering.
- Have a family communication plan in place. Designate someone out of the area as a central contact, and make certain that all family members know who to contact if case of separation. Most importantly, practice your emergency plan in advance.
- Program all of your emergency contact numbers and e-mail addresses into your phone. Numbers should include the police department, fire station and hospital, as well as your family members.
- Forward your home number to your wireless number in the event of an evacuation. Because call forwarding happens out of the telephone central office, your landline phone will get incoming calls even if your local telephone service is inoperable at your home. In the unlikely event that the central office is not operational, services such as Voicemail, Call Forwarding, Remote Access call forwarding and call forwarding busy line/don’t answer may be useful.
- Track the storm and access weather information on your wireless device.Many homes lose power during severe weather. If you have a wireless device that provides access to the Internet, you can keep updated with local radar and severe weather alerts.
- Camera phones provide assistance. If you have a camera phone, take, store and send photos - even video clips - of damaged property to your insurance company from your device.
- Take advantage of location-based mapping technology. Services such as AT&T Navigator and AT&T FamilyMap can help you seek evacuation routes or avoid traffic congestion from downed trees or power lines. You can also track a family member’s wireless device in case you get separated.
Maximizing Service During and After a Storm
- Try text messaging. During an emergency, texts may go through more quickly than voice calls because they require fewer network resources. All of our wireless devices are text messaging capable. Depending on your text or data plan, additional charges may apply.
- Prepare for high call volume. During an emergency, many people try to use their phones at the same time. The increased volume may create network congestion, leading to “fast busy” signals on your wireless phone or a slow dial tone on your landline phone. If this happens, hang up, wait several seconds and then try the call again. This allows your original call data to clear the network before you try again.
- Keep non-emergency calls to a minimum. And limit your calls to the most important ones. If there is severe weather, chances are many people will be attempting to place calls to loved ones, friends and business associates.