• Charge cell phones and extra batteries before predicted storms hit.
• Consider using a car charger for cell phones.
• Text message or email instead of calling on cell phones to help alleviate network overuse.
• Send short text messages on cell phones. They are more likely to go through and will stay in queue until they can be sent.
• Wait 10 seconds before redialing on cell phones to allow networks time to clear data.
• Save cell phone batteries by using working land lines.
• Use walkie talkies to communicate short distances.
• Make calls only in an emergency to keep lines and networks as free as possible.
• Remember land line cordless phones don’t work during a power outage.
• Sometimes cell phones will not work during an extended power outage.
• Keep phones and batteries dry.
• Have more than 1 method of communication as land lines, cell phones, cable, internet, and electricity can all be disrupted and at different times.
• If you evacuate, forward home numbers to cell phones.
• Program emergency contacts into cell phones.
• Have a central contact outside the storm area so family and/or friends can check in if they become separated from your group.

REFERENCE -- Houston Chronicle September 22, 2005.