How Will You Contact Your Family in a Crisis?
Do you rely on your phone for keeping track of important phone numbers? Since dialing our phones is automatic with just the touch of a screen, most of us don’t memorize very many phone numbers, even those we call frequently. The only phone number besides my own that I have memorized is my husband’s. As important as my kids are to me, and even as frequently as I call them, I haven’t memorized their phone numbers! Does that sound familiar?
Cell phones rely on a good source of power to stay charged and working, including accessing our contacts. For the preparedness challenge this week, give some thought to how you would contact loved ones in an emergency when you may not be able to use your phone. With just a little forethought and advanced preparation you can be prepared with your family member’s contact information in case of a crisis.
Week 36 Preparedness Challenge
This week’s challenge is to make a hard copy of the phone numbers for the people you would need to contact in case of an emergency when you may not have access to your phone’s contacts. Make sure all family members have this information in a readily accessible place. If you are already on top of this task, take some time to update or add new numbers.
Make Multiple Copies of Important Phone Numbers
Use either a dedicated phone/address book or simply 3” x 5” cards listing the most important numbers. Make several copies to keep in strategic places like your wallet, purse, backpack, brief case, emergency evacuation kit, glove box of vehicles, etc. What people consider important numbers might vary, but include spouse, parents, siblings, children, close friends, next door neighbors, physicians, dentist, insurance agent, co-workers, boss, extended family… You get the idea.
Add an “In Case of Emergency” Card
Add an “In Case of Emergency” (ICE) card that will give first responders information about who they need to contact in case of a personal emergency. It could include the name and numbers for your spouse, parents, siblings, and adult children. You can also include your physician contact information. Keep this card in your wallet, purse, or vehicle.
Out of Area Contact Person
Many crises are regional and cause chaos in a defined area. It is a good practice to have an out-of-area contact person that all members of the family can check in with and who can help coordinate communication for the family. Be sure all family members know who this person is and have up-to-date contact information.
Be aware that in a crisis there are relief organizations that assist contact with displaced family members. The American Red Cross, for example, facilitates a website that lets you search for loved ones and register yourself as “safe and well.” https://disastersafe.redcross.org
Facebook has a “safety check” that can be implemented after a disaster. https://www.facebook.com/about/safetycheck/
Learn more about communication during a crisis plus quick and easy tips for being prepared in my book Crisis Preparedness Handbook, Third Edition. You can find it on this website, CrisisPreparedness.com. Or, find it on Amazon in the hard copy or Kindle version.
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