Authorities urging residents to text first in a weather emergency

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ST. LOUIS (KPLR) - When severe weather strikes, your first instinct may be to start calling family and friends to let them know if you're okay; but that may do more harm than good.  FOX 2's Andy Banker talked with authorities who say text first -- talk second in the event of a weather emergency.

Additional emergency communications tips include:

  • Keep all phone calls brief by conveying only vital information to emergency personnel and/or family.
  • If you are unsuccessful in completing a call using your cell phone, wait ten seconds before redialing to help reduce network congestion.
  • If you lose power, you can charge your cell phone in your car.  Be sure your car is in a well-ventilated place, not in a garage.
  • Another resource for letting friends and family know your status after a disaster is the American Red Cross’s Safe and Well Registry.
  • Your communications plan should identify an out-of-area contact and household members should carry that information with them at all times. If a disaster occurs when you are separated, it often is easier to call outside your immediate area. Family members can call the contact to provide location and coordinate reunification plans.

For more information about developing a family communications plan, visit the Ready Illinois website.