Majority Of Families Don’t Have Emergency Communications Plan

While 58 percent of moms feel their families are prepared for a severe weather emergency, only 30 percent have created and discussed an emergency communications plan, according to a recent survey by the Home Safety Council.

That is a cause for concern given that many experts say a detailed communications plan plays one of the biggest roles in helping families stay connected to each other and emergency contacts during a natural disaster, such as hurricanes and floods.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is forecasting a 65 percent chance of an above average storm season this year, predicting there will be 12 to 16 named storms originating in the Atlantic Ocean, including up to five major hurricanes.

"When an emergency occurs, the first thing people often reach for is a phone to call their loved ones," said Dan Alcazar, consumer marketing officer at EMBARQ. "As a communication company, we can help people prepare, especially when staying connected by phone may be an individual's lifeline."

To help families stay connected during severe weather, EMBARQ and the Home Safety Council created wallet-sized emergency communication cards that include space to list important phone numbers and medical information. The cards can be downloaded at www.embarq.com/severeweather.

"Creating an emergency communication plan is simple," said Home Safety Council President Meri-K Appy. "First, families should discuss how they will communicate during an emergency and then record important plan information on their emergency communication cards. Making sure every family member has this information at his or her fingertips can be a lifesaver if you're in different places when disaster strikes."

Both Alcazar and Appy recommend having a corded landline phone in the home or workplace, which is a phone that has a handset connected to the base of the phone by a cord.

"Corded landline phones will continue to operate if the power goes out in your home," Appy said. "It is often the most reliable source of communication in the case of an emergency."

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