Most people nowadays would shudder at the thought of not having a mobile ‘phone permanently attached to their hand and life can get pretty tricky if your ‘phone is lost, stolen or just out of juice!
In the immediate aftermath of an emergency, local mobile masts may have been damaged but typically there may be huge demand placed on the network by thousands of people either attempting to reassure their loved one’s that they are OK or trying to locate people they think might be involved.
Just like at a large public event, mobiles become almost useless as a means of communication.
How do you communicate during an emergency?
This is a tricky one and if you have the money there are some really good alternatives out there but the rest of us the first thing you need is to keep a hard copy of your emergency numbers in your purse or wallet.
Of course if you are hurt or in danger you should immediate dial 999 but also need an up to date list of five or so numbers (ideally landlines as well as mobiles) which you can call from a payphone or other landline to let them know you are OK or that you need non-emergency assistance. Have them on a laminated credit card size piece of paper to protect them.
You can also have one contact in you mobile labelled ICE (BBC News – In Case Of Emergency) which the Emergency Services know to call if you are injured and unable to tell them who to call.
Also, read my previous blog post about nominated out of town contacts and meeting points.
The other problem is a dead battery and this can happen at any time. There are dozens of mobile chargers out there which use standard batteries, wind up or solar power but whichever you choose, definitely keep on in your 72 hour survival kit or you car’s emergency kit and think about carrying one with you just in case. You certainly don’t want to be caught short!
Finally, if you do have to call the emergency services for any reason remember that they may not know the area at all and may have to describe your location over the radio. Make sure you know exactly where you are so they can easily find you.
Don’t delay, prepare today!