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Don’t wait, communicate

Start planning now for emergencies

Experts say parents should teach children to use mobile phones in case of emergencies.

Disasters can occur at any time, so it’s important to know how you and your family members will contact each other afterwards.

Experts offer these tips:

  • Complete a contact card for each adult family member. Keep the cards in a wallet or purse. Also, complete cards for children and put the cards in their backpacks or book bags.
  • Choose a friend or out-of-state relative to serve as a contact for household members to notify during emergencies. An out-of-town contact may be in a better position to communicate among separated family members. Make sure every member of your family knows this person’s phone number and has a cell phone, coins or a prepaid phone card to contact him or her.
  • Program someone in your cell phone as “ICE” (in case of emergency). If you’re in an accident, emergency personnel will often check your ICE listing.
  • Teach family members how to use text messaging, which can often get around network disruptions.

For more information, visit the Federal Emergency Management Agency site, which has a template to help you create a family emergency communication plan.

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