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. Whether it’s a hurricane, wildfire, blizzard, 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.