September 8, 2021
Wireless Tips for Inclement Weather & Emergencies
Natural disasters can strike at any moment, but this time of year usually serves as the peak of severe weather season for hurricanes and tropical storms. In fact, meteorologists predict that by the end of 2021, we will continue to experience higher-than-normal activity. Whether it’s a tropical storm, blizzard, wildfire, hurricane, or tornado, your wireless device can help you during weather emergencies.
Helping Americans already impacted by weather emergencies
Hurricane Ida made landfall in Louisiana and Mississippi, which tragically impacted more than a million Americans. On the West Coast, wildfires in California continue to grow more dangerous as well. Here are some ways to help:
- Text IDA to 90999 to make a one-time $10 donation to American Red Cross Disaster Relief to directly help people impacted by Hurricane Ida.
- Text RUBICON to 20222 to make a one-time $10 donation to Team Rubicon to help people in Louisiana with home repair and reconstruction, assessments of water-damage, and clearing debris away from residences.
- Text GIVE to 48127 to donate to California Wildfire Relief Fund 2021, which is managed by GlobalGiving.org.
- Text SALARMY to 52000 to give a $10 donation to the Salvation Army for all natural disaster relief efforts.
Preparing for a weather emergency
If your area is expecting severe weather, here are some important steps you can follow now to ensure your cellphone is ready when you need it:
- Sign up for FEMA disaster safety tips and alerts by texting PREPARE to 43362.
- Charge your wireless devices’ batteries when you know a storm is coming.
- Store your medical details on your iPhone or Android device—this can help first responders gain access to life-saving information.
- Add a list of family members or trusted neighbors as “I.C.E.” contacts on your phone for emergency responders to call in case of an emergency.
- Carry a spare cellphone charger and keep your wireless devices in a waterproof bag.
- Make sure your device receives Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA).
- Use your wireless device to take photos or videos of your home in case you need it for insurance.
During a weather emergency
If your area is currently experiencing a severe weather emergency, here are ways you can help conserve the battery life of your cellphone and other wireless devices:
- Limit voice calls for emergencies only and send a text message instead.
- Use airplane mode whenever possible and turn on smart battery modes.
- When not in use, turn off Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and location-based services.
- Reduce your devices’ screen brightness.
- Limit video content and close unused apps.
For more information about emergency preparedness, including wireless tips for hurricane season, check out additional resources here.