updated 8/29/2008 2:32:06 PM ET 2008-08-29T18:32:06

  • Keep your cell phones charged. Buy extra batteries if you can, and remember to charge them.
  • A car adapter will let you recharge from the car battery if power goes out.

  • Keep phones and batteries dry in a waterproof plastic bag.

    • Program numbers for relatives, friends, emergency responders and insurance companies into your phones.


    • Landline phones may work even if the electricity goes out, since they're powered through the phone line itself. However, those lines are vulnerable to wind and water.


    • If disaster strikes, both landline and wireless networks may be overloaded. The capacity for text messages is higher, so use those instead, and free up voice capacity for emergency calls. Sprint Nextel Corp. recommends customers who have push-to-talk phones to use that service.


    • If you need to evacuate, forward your home phone calls to your cell phone.

    Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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