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60-second safety: Plan whom to contact and how

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This safety series is designed to help you prepare your family for life’s emergencies — big and small — and keep you as safe and healthy as possible when Mother Nature or life throws the unexpected your way. Take the next minute to help make yourself and your family safer.

During disasters, phone lines can quickly become overwhelmed and local calls are nearly impossible to make. If you tried to call someone during the flood in June 2008 you may have experienced this. However, long-distance phone calls and text messages stand a much better chance of getting through because they use difference circuits.

To create a family emergency communications plan, designate someone outside the area as a central contact and make certain all family members know who to contact if they become separated.

That person should be willing to take calls from each family member and relay information as each person calls in.

Because everyone in your family may not have a charged cellphone with them, be sure that each person memorizes the emergency contact number. In the age of cellphones, many of us can barely remember our own phone numbers; but during an emergency, it may be crucial for you and your children to have at least one number memorized.

60-Second Safety is provided by Johnson County Community Organizations Active in Disasters. Send ideas to newstips@dailyjournal.net.

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