We have noticed that there are storms brewing in the country. In SoCal we have been experiencing what the locals call earthquake weather Here are some reminders to be prepared in case of storms or other disasters.
- Guard your smartphone/cell phone/table from extreme elements, don't let them get wet, too hot or too cold. Put your smartphone, iPhone, tablet or iPad inside your coat or insulate it from freezing cold or wet elements.
- Most carriers now offer WEA(Wireless Emergency Alert) text alerts to your phone , if you have a WEA-capable phone. You can check with your carrier if your phone can get the messages. Most smartphones released in the last year or so are compatible.
- Have portable charger handy such as an alternative charger such as a car charger, battery charger or solar charger.
- Check for emergency FEMA alerts.
- Keep important information backed up on small media, such as a microSD card, flash drive or SD card that you can bring with you.
- Program all of your emergency contact numbers and email addresses into your mobile phone. Numbers should include the police department, fire station and hospital, as well as your family members.
- Designate a friend or family member as a contact in case power, landline or cell service goes down.
- Check your phone's signal strength in a non-emergency situation to know where the signal is strong and where it's not.
- Make Calls Indoors - Okay we know lightening doesn't usually strike during a hurricane, however, it there is lightning there is some evidence that cell phone antenna could act as a lightening rod.
- Protect your electronics by plugging them into a surge protector or be sure to unplug them when power outages and surges are likely.
- Cut down travel. If you have to travel, be sure your car has an emergency kit including blankets, non-perishable foods, technology to communicate emergencies and tools for car accidents. Try to avoid traveling at night, alone and on back roads.
- Download Emergency /Weather Apps, Bookmark Info - Apps such as FEMA's emergency app and weather notifications can help.
- We also suggest you bookmark in your browser resources for your area. Some suggested sites to bookmark are the National Weather Service (http://mobile.weather.gov), Center for Disease Control (http://m.cdc.gov), and FEMA (http://m.fema.gov).
If a natural disaster escalates to a point where you have to be evacuated for any reason, contact your carrier. They often offer free voicemail and landline call forwarding during a disaster, as they did with the fires in Southern California.