After the earthquake in California, AT&T sent some good advice and suggestions via Twitter:
We are seeing network congestion on both the wireline and wireless networks, which is very common after an Earthquake.
During this high volume calling period, AT&T recommends that people only make emergency or urgent calls.
In times of emergency, AT&T asks customers to use text messaging to let friends and family know you are okay.
Texting is the most reliable form of communication during peak use and keeps lines open for emergency personnel.
Tip sheets and more from AT&T on disaster preparedness available at http://att.com/vitalconnect…
Their “Emergency Communications Planning Tips” document suggests:
Be sure that you have at least one corded telephone that is not dependent on electricity in case of an electrical power outage.
…that you have a working, battery-operated radio…
Develop an emergency communications plan, including communications methods and individuals to call. Post it on the refrigerator, keep a copy with emergency supplies and provide copies to each family member.
Agree on a physical and virtual meeting place such as a voice mailbox or online chat site.
Forward your home number to your wireless number in the event of an evacuation…
Their “Family communications planning” document has templates for cards that you can print for your wallet/billfold/purse/etcetera, and complete with emergency contact information.
The “Holiday Season Safety Tips” document has information about decorating, poisonous and toxic materials, fire safety, dangerous toys, older adult safety, food preperation and safety, alcoholic beverages, and how to avoid stress.