Weather reports still say Tropical Storm Emily will impact South Florida by sometime Friday, which means now is the time to prepare your cell phone and home communications plan in case the storm causes power outages or other problems.
Here are tips offered by AT&T:
Have a family communications plan in place. Designate someone out of the area as a central contact, and make certain that all family members know who to contact if they become separated. Most important, practice your emergency plan in advance.
Program all of your emergency contact numbers and e-mail addresses into your mobile phone. Numbers should include the police department, fire station and hospital, as well as your family members.
Keep your wireless phone batteries charged at all times. Have an alternative plan to recharge your battery in case of a power outage, such as charging your wireless device by using your car charger or having extra mobile phone batteries or disposable mobile phone batteries on hand.
Keep your wireless phone dry. The biggest threat to your device during a hurricane is water, so keep your equipment safe from the elements by storing it in a baggie or some other type of protective covering.
Forward your home number to your wireless number in the event of an evacuation. Because call forwarding is based out of the telephone central office, you will get incoming calls from your landline phone even if your local telephone service is disrupted at your home. In the unlikely event that the central office is not operational, services such as voicemail, call forwarding, remote access call forwarding and call forwarding busy line/don’t answer may be useful.
Track the storm and access weather information on your wireless device. Many homes lose power during severe weather. If you have a wireless device that provides access to the Internet, you can watch weather reports through services like AT&T U-verse Live TV or keep updated with local radar and severe weather alerts through My-Cast® Weather, if you subscribe to those services.
Check the latest storm information at SunSentinel.com.