The only difference between adventure and disaster is preparedness.

Monday, August 29, 2011

I M OK....R U OK?

Repost from CRESA's Blog

Those simple little letters could make the world of difference for you and your loved ones in an emergency. What is your next step when a disaster occurs and you can’t contact your family because cell phone systems aren’t working or overwhelmed? The answer could be as easy as sending a Short Messaging Service (SMS) or “Text” message. Do you think texting is just for teenagers? Think again.

Although the east coast earthquake this week wasn’t necessarily devastating, the panic that thousands of people felt was real. Many reached for their cell phones to let their loved ones know they were safe but that service wasn’t available. Those that knew how to, probably got through with text, as it uses different technology than making a regular wireless phone call.

Hundreds of thousands of folks are gearing up right now to protect themselves from Hurricane Irene. Staying informed before and during a disaster is worth its weight in gold - but, it doesn’t have to cost a lot. What is it worth to you to know that your family is safe? According to Verizon Wireless, most phones are capable of texting even if you don’t have a texting plan. It could cost you as little as a few pennies or as much as a quarter per call.

Before disaster strikes let you loved ones know what your plans are to stay connected. Call your family today, tell them you are practicing text messaging and send them a message that says “I M OK. R U OK?”. Have them reply with those simple little letters “I M OK”. There are plenty of adults and teenagers that can help you learn to text and the internet is full of articles that will help you learn. The Cellular Telephone Industry Association (CTIA) has a webpage developed to learning texting as well as WikiHow.

We recommend taking these additional steps to stay informed and connected before any disaster.
• Establish a Family Emergency Contact outside your area (and not within your same potential earthquake zone)
• Register your address with your mobile phone or email address to receive emergency message directly relating to your neighborhood or business with Emergency Community Notification Sign-Up.
• Use other social media tools like Twitter and Facebook to stay connected to your loved ones.

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