Your phone can be your lifeline during disasters-A A +A
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
WITH the onset of the typhoon season, leading wireless services provider Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) reminds its subscribers to take extra precaution and to have their phones typhoon-proof.
In 2011, the Philippines grappled with 33 natural disasters, topping the list of countries in terms of the number of occurrence of natural disasters based on a study of the United Nations on international Strategy for Disaster Reduction. These typhoons have caused billions of pesos in damages to agricultural crops, infrastructure and properties, and even loss of lives.
A mobile phone, according to Smart, can be your lifeline these crucial times and as such, a must-have in every household's typhoon preparedness kit.
"We must realize that typhoon or disaster preparedness should start in every home. It is the responsibility of every family to plan and get ready for calamities," said Ramon Isberto, head of Smart's Public Affairs.
"Making our mobile phones typhoon-ready is one of the easiest and most simple steps we could do for typhoon awareness," he added.
Smart recommends fully charging mobile phones upon announcement of any upcoming weather disturbance.
To optimize the battery life, adjust the phone settings such as volume, backlight brightness and data connectivity, and have extra batteries ready and charged in case of power outages that could last for days.
One can't also go wrong with having extra prepaid load cards on hand, and investing in solar or crank chargers.
Having a water-proof case or a re-sealable bag for the phones and chargers would also be a wise move.
Save numbers of family members on speed dial and keep handy a list of emergency numbers, including response agencies like the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council and relief agencies like the
Philippine National Red Cross. Contact details of television and radio stations as well as local government units and hospitals must also be in the list.
Although there are mobile units that can now be used as radios and flashlights, Smart says it is better to have the mobile phone reserved for communication purposes, and to have actual battery-operated radios and flashlights ready.
Smart is doing whatever is necessary to ensure the continuous provision of wireless communication services during typhoons and other disasters.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on July 11, 2012.