Plan for how you will communicate with loved ones after a disaster.
Long-distance phone lines often work before local phone lines, so identify an out-of-state contact and provide this person with the contact information of people you want to keep informed of your situation. Share this information with your family and friends locally.
Avoid making non-urgent phone calls after a disaster even if phone lines are undamaged. Increased phone traffic can jam phone circuits.
Cordless phones or phone systems require electricity; make sure you have a backup phone that requires no electricity.
Keep coins in your Go-bag. Payphones may work before other phone lines.
Don't count on your cell phone - increased traffic on cell phone networks can quickly overload wireless capacity.
Record an outgoing message on your voicemail so that callers can be reassured of your safety status.
Learn how to use text messaging. It uses a different part of the cell phone network and it might be possible to send and receive text messages when voice channels for mobile phones and landlines are jammed.
Register your email addresses and wireless devices (mobile phones, pagers, and PDAs) at Alert LA website. When possible, the City will send an email and/or text alerts about potential hazards and/or post-disaster information. Examples include tsunami warnings and local disaster shelter locations.