updated 6/1/2006 3:06:00 PM ET 2006-06-01T19:06:00

Cingular Wireless offers tips on how to make the best use of cell phones if there is a hurricane or other catastrophe.

  • Program all vital and emergency numbers like police and fire departments into your cell phone. Also program the numbers of family members.
  • Have a family communications plan. Cingular suggests designating someone outside the area as a central contact for family members who may become separated from loved ones.
  • Keep wireless phone batteries charged at all times and have an alternate plan like extra batteries or a car charger in case of extended power outages.
  • Keep your wireless phone dry and out of the elements.
  • Forward your home number to your wireless phone. Call forwarding is based out of a company’s central office, so you will get forwarded calls even if your landline is disrupted.
  • Use text messaging, which often will go through more quickly than a voice call.
  • Keep non-emergency calls to a minimum and limit calls to the most important ones.

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