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How to get in touch with loved ones in a disaster

Disasters often strike without warning–and if you have family or friends who are in or near harm’s way, you’re going to want to get in touch. Unfortunately, that isn’t always so easy: Mobile signals and land lines can be jammed with the massive amount of calls flowing in and out of an area. And in the case of the recent Boston Marathon tragedy, there are reports that the mobile network had been shut down altogether.

Here are some of the best tips we know for getting in touch, but this is by no means a complete list but may come in handy if the worst does occur

·         Don’t call. Leave the lines open for emergency services

  • Text. We recommend using text messages rather than voice calls to avoid getting stymied by network congestion–the smaller data packets can often sneak through while the larger voice files get stuck.
  • Use Apps. While mobile networks and phone lines are generally limited to one communication protocol, apps like Twitter or Facebook Messenger can reach out and touch in several different ways.

If You’re the loved one we’re trying to reach:

  • Get to a hardwired data connection. If you’re in an affected area, a cable or ADSL internet connection might be your best bet–these fatter pipes are made to handle larger surges of traffic, and have a decent track record of withstanding worst case scenarios.
  • You tell us! Email your parents, update your Facebook status, tweet your condition and whereabouts. Whether you’re totally fine or in desperate need of help, let the viral nature of the internet work for you. You’d be surprised how many people are worried.
  • Update your voicemail message. If you can make only one call, make it to your voicemail. Change your outgoing message, so when folks try to reach you and the call goes straight to voicemail, they still get updated on your status.

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How to get in touch with loved ones in a disaster

Disasters often strike without warning–and if you have family or friends who are in or near harm’s way, you’re going to want to get in touch. 

Here are some of the best tips we know for getting in touch.

... [ READ MORE ]
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