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May 7, 2022

Technology is fully integrated in our day-to-day life. We rely on it to keep in touch with our colleagues, friends and family at the click of a button. Have you considered what happens in the event of a major emergency? Recent natural and human caused events have taught us that resilient communications are vital to saving lives. Here are some tips on how to use technology in an emergency:

  • If possible, use non-voice channels like text messaging, email or social media. These use less bandwidth than voice communications and may work even when phone service is not immediately available.
  • If you must use a phone, keep your conversation brief and convey only vital information to emergency personnel and/or family. This will also conserve your phone’s battery.
  • Unable to complete a call? Wait 10 seconds before redialing to help reduce network congestion. Note, cordless phones rely on electricity and will not work during a power outage. If you have a landline, keep at least one corded phone in your home.
  • Keep extra batteries or a charger for your mobile device in your emergency kit. Consider getting a solar-powered, crank, or vehicle phone charger. If you don’t have a cell phone, keep a prepaid phone card in your emergency kit.
  • Keep your contacts up to date on your phone, email and other channels. This will make it easier to reach important contacts, such as friends, family, neighbours, child’s school, or insurance agent.
  • If you have a smartphone, save your safe meeting location(s) on its mapping application.
  • Conserve your smartphone’s battery by reducing the screen’s brightness, placing your phone in airplane mode, and closing apps you are not using. You never know how long a power outage will last!

Remember, in an emergency or to save a life, call 9-1-1 for help. Texting 9-1-1 is not currently available in our area. If you are not experiencing an emergency, do not call 9-1-1 and instead use the ten-digit numbers listed in your local phone book for police, fire, and other health services.

For more tips regarding emergency preparedness, visit GetPrepared.gc.ca.

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