September is National Preparedness Month

September is National Preparedness Month. National Preparedness Month aims to educate and empower Americans to prepare for and respond to all types of emergencies.  Avatel Technologies would like to remind you that your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so plan how you will contact one another.  Take the time to think about how you will communicate in different situations.

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FAMILY COMMUNICATIONS For example, you can complete a contact card for each adult family member. Have them keep these cards handy in a wallet, purse or briefcase or in your smartphone or tablet.  Remember to also complete contact cards for each child in your family.  Place the cards in their backpacks or book bags.  And, check with your children’s day care or school.  Many facilities designed for children include identification planning as part of their emergency plans.

FAMILY COMMUNICATION TIPS Avatel suggests identifying a contact such as a friend or relative who lives out-of-state for household members to notify they are safe. If may be easier to make a long-distance phone call than to call across town, so an out-of-town contact may be in a better position to communicate among separated family members.

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ICE Be certain that every member of your family knows the phone number and has a cell phone, coins or a prepaid phone card to call the emergency contact. If you have a cell phone, program that person(s) as “ICE” (In Case of Emergency) in your phone.  If you are in an accident, emergency personnel will often check your ICE listings in order to get a hold of someone you know.  Make sure to tell your family and friends that you’ve listed them as emergency contacts.

Teach family members how to use text messaging. Text messages can often get around network disruptions when a phone call might not be able to get through.

CELLULAR ALERT SERVICES Remember to subscribe to cellular alert services. Many communities now have systems that will send instant text alerts or emails to let you know about bad weather, road closings, local emergencies, etc.

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Lonnie Ledford, Avatel Project Manager

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