Prepare your phone for anything during National Preparedness Month

Lake Sun Leader
September is National Preparedness Month, a month dedicated to encouraging the public to prepare for local disaster risks and unplanned emergencies.

September is National Preparedness Month, a month dedicated to encouraging the public to prepare for local disaster risks and unplanned emergencies. Wireless devices can help us prepare for upcoming weather events, store important information and stay updated on local news in the face of an emergency.

“Knowing what to do before, during and after an emergency is a critical part of being prepared – and makes all the difference when seconds count,” said John Anguiano, retail area sales manager for UScellular in Missouri. “Whether it’s using your phone as a tool in preparing for a natural disaster or accessing personal information, it is important to be equipped for any situation.”

UScellular recommends the following smartphone tips to stay prepared in case of an emergency:

Keep your contacts up to date: Create a physical and digital list that has phone numbers and email addresses of police, fire, hospital, schools and other essential contacts. Be sure to designate “in case of emergency” contacts in your phone to indicate who should be reached during an emergency.  

Social media sources: Facebook and Twitter have become a helpful way to quickly get and share information. During severe weather, social media can help provide real-time updates, keep people in touch with loved ones and let family and friends know you are safe.

Save important documents and photos: Save photos of important documents including health insurance cards on your phone along with “before” photos of the interior and exterior of your property for insurance purposes. Set up Apple Pay on your devices in case your home – and therefore your purse or wallet – is  damaged or inaccessible

Ensure you can recover important information: Back up your smartphone on a regular basis, that way if it gets stolen or damaged  and the phone is not recoverable,  important information will already be saved.

Download essential safety apps: Free apps from FEMA, AccuWeather and local news stations are available on Google Play or the Apple App Store. Make sure to have apps like the Flashlight app in case electricity goes out. Learn first aid with step-by-step videos and locate the nearest shelters with apps like the American Red Cross.

Protect your data: When the unexpected happens, UScellular offers Device Protection+ that protects your phone from when it is damaged, lost or stolen and also comes with tools to back up data and protect against Malware. You can take advantage of Device Protection+ by visiting your nearest UScellular retail store or submitting a claim online.