2013-02-15 / Community

Your Cell Phone To The Rescue

With winter storms arriving and Sandy not far in the past, Rockaway and Broad Channel residents can certainly appreciate the value of a cellphone.

According to Tom DeVito, AT&T Vice President and General Manager for New York and New Jersey, in times of emergency there are more ways than one for you to put your device to work.

Here are some of the things you should know and tips to keep in mind about your phone.

USE TXT MSGING: During an emergency situation, text messages go through quicker than voice calls because they require less system resources.

Keep Emergency Contacts Close: Make sure all your emergency numbers, including family members, the hospital, police and fire station, are in your phone. You might not have access to this information if you are on the go or the internet down or power is out.

Limit Non-Emergency Calls: Keeping calls to a minimum will conserve battery power and free up wireless networks for emergencies

Keep Your Phone Charged: Make sure all of your devices are charged before the storm arrives. Car chargers and portable back up battery chargers are really convenient.

Become an Amateur Storm Tracker: Use weather apps, like the Accuweather app to track the storm.

Use Your Phone as a Flashlight: There are a number of apps out there for all phones that can turn your phone into an effective flashlight. When the lights are out, you can really appreciate having a way to find your way around.

Keep Your Tank Full: Apps like Gasbuddy can help you find the closest and cheapest gas prices in your area.

Take Advantage of Emergency Services Apps: Download apps like Winter Survival Kit, which will help you find your current location, call 911, notify your friends and family, calculate how long you can run your engine to keep warm and stay safe from carbon monoxide poisoning.

A cellphone may not get a call to FEMA through faster or saw insurance through paperwork, but it sure can help you out in an emergency.

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