Cell phone companies are working overtime to ensure that coverage isn't lost over the weekend, when .
Though both Verizon and AT&T have emergency infrastructure in place to keep service going during the worst of the winds, here are some tips from both services on the steps you can take to stay safe:
- Have family communications plan in place. Designate someone out of the area as a central contact, and make certain that all family members know who to contact if they become separated.
- Program all of your emergency contact numbers and e-mail addresses into your mobile phone. Numbers should include the police department, fire station and hospital, as well as your family members.
- Keep your wireless phone batteries charged and dry. Have an alternative plan to recharge your battery in case of a power outage, such as charging your wireless device by using your car charger or having extra mobile phone batteries or disposable mobile phone batteries on hand. Store your phone in a plastic bag or other sealable protective covering.
- Forward your home number to your wireless number in the event of an evacuation. Because call forwarding is based out of the telephone central office, you will get incoming calls from your landline phone even if your local telephone service is disrupted at your home.
- Camera phones provide assistance. If you have a camera phone, take, store and send photos — even video clips — of damaged property to your insurance company from your device.
- Limit non-emergency calls to conserve battery power and free-up wireless networks for emergency agencies and operations.
- Send brief text messages rather than voice calls for the same reasons as above.
- Forward your home phone calls to your wireless number if you evacuate.
- Check weather and news reports on wireless phone applications when power is out.
- Customers who rely solely on cordless phones in their home should consider purchasing an inexpensive hard-wired phone that plugs directly into a wall jack. Cordless phones will not function without commercial power.