How To Communicate During A Disaster: The Best Guide For You

When disasters strike, it can be difficult to connect with your loved ones to seek help. Because hurricanes, tornadoes, and other natural disasters can create power outages.

In some situations, your cellphone networks are overloaded too. This makes regular communication almost impossible. However, by planning ahead of time, you can keep in touch with your loved ones.

In this article, we will show you how to communicate during a disaster. Stay tuned and find out the best guide for you.

How To Communicate During A Disaster

  • Create an emergency plan for your loved ones
  • Compile an emergency contact
  • Establish a call tree
  • Subscribe to local text message alerts
  • Download helpful apps
  • Purchase backup charging option

Keep in mind that you should plan before the catastrophe happens. Don’t wait until it happens and then start to plan. If that happens, it will be too late for you now.

In this section, we will show you details about what you need to plan before a disaster. Remember to follow these guidelines carefully, and they will help you a lot in the future.

Create an emergency plan for your loved ones

Making a family emergency plan is the first thing you should do.

You should make your family plan. And the plan should focus on your needs too. But these things should be included in your plan:

  • Determine a rendezvous spot: This could be your home or other secure locations as long as everyone agrees on these locations.
  • Assign important actions: Everyone in your family should be aware of what they need to do. Some steps must be followed in the case of an emergency. For example, they must need to know how or when they should go to secure locations.
  • Establish communication channels: Ensure that your family members are aware of the communication channels. If one of the channels fails, they must know how to choose other channels to communicate.
  • Establish reaction timings: Your family members must have specific timelines. It means that you should determine how long your family members should wait before arriving at secure locations.

An emergency plan is the foundation of all catastrophe planning. So please don’t forget this step. This is your priority when it comes to communicating during a disaster.

Compile an emergency contact

An emergency contact list is a next thing you need to prepare. First and foremost, you must include someone from a distinct area of the country on this list.

This is critical because you want to have an emergency contact situated outside the disaster zone. If the crisis affects a large region. You can still reach someone and transmit any essential information.

Local police are another important contact to add to your list. Here are some contacts that you should include in your list:

  • First responders and the local fire department.
  • Other pertinent emergency services
  • School for children.
  • Electricity provider.
  • Insurance firm.
  • Members of the family
  • Friends.
  • Colleagues.

Bear in mind that you should add who may be useful in an emergency in this contact list.

Establish a call tree

Another critical stage in disaster preparedness is to create a calling tree.

The concept of a calling tree is straightforward. Everyone phones into one designated caller to check-in. And that person passes information to everyone else.

Along with naming this person, you should also establish a period for everyone to check-in. Through periodic check-ins with the designated caller, you can keep track of how everyone is doing and where they are.

This individual should have a copy of your family’s emergency plan. So they can keep track of everyone’s emergency reaction.

Subscribe to local text message alerts

When a crisis occurs, you want to acquire as much information as possible. Especially because your usual modes of communication may fail. Subscribing to local text notifications is one method to ensure you get information as they happen.

These notifications will tell you when anything occurs in your neighborhood. And it will keep you up to speed on any new developments. Some possible text message alert possibilities include:

  • Weather
  • Government at the local level
  • The school district for children
  • Law enforcement at the local level

Some of these alternatives may not be available in your region. But they are worth considering as you plan for a catastrophe response.

Download helpful apps

There are many helpful applications you can use during a disaster.

Here are some apps that you can consider download:

  1. Red Cross: They are suitable for emergencies such as tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes.
  2. FEMA: Did you know that you can receive alerts from the National Weather Service? This app can help you with that. They also provide the location of open shelters for you.
  3. ICE Standard Technologies: This app allows emergency responders to quickly and easily obtain your medical information.

Besides these apps, you can use other social media apps too. Facebook and Twitter can extremely helpful if you need to reach out to your friends.

Purchase backup charging option

Apps and SMS notifications can be quite useful. But they are worthless if your phone is dead.

To guarantee that your phone has power during an emergency. You must have a large number of backup charging alternatives. If the power goes out, you may be able to charge your phone using one of the following methods:

  • Mobile charging bank: If you have a completely charged power bank. It will be able to charge your phone once.
  • Automobile charger: You may charge your battery in your car. But be careful not to damage your car battery.
  • Solar chargers: They are an alternative. Although they are often utilized as backup chargers.
  • Hand-crank chargers: These aren’t long-lasting. But they can provide a fast burst of power. With this,  you can make a quick call or send an important text.

It’s important to have a charge for your phone. Especially if it’s your sole mode of contact. Still, we advise that during a disaster, you should not rely only on your phone.

Some Communication Issues You Might Face During A Disaster

  • Strong winds or flooding can damage cables and cellular towers.
  • Seismic activity can damage underground fiber-optic cables.
  • Heavy rain or snow cuts off wavelength signals to important wireless links.
  • Solar storms will destroy cellular satellites.
  • Congested and jammed networks.
  • Networks are overload.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can I use amateur radios during a disaster?

Yes, you can. If you can establish a radio channel for your household. It will be a great help. They can help you communicate easier during a catastrophe. But remember that you need a license if you want to use amateur radios. Also please test it carefully before using it.

2. If we don’t have natural disasters in our area, should we still prepare for emergencies like this?

Yes, you should. An emergency may occur anywhere. And they come without warning. If you live in a place with no natural disasters. You can still face power failure, fires. So emergency plans are necessary.

3. Do I need to contact people during a disaster?

Yes, of course. You need to contact your family, your friends, and neighbors to seek help. You can report your status and request assistance. 

You also need to contact your loved ones can be pretty useful. If they need help, you can find a way to help them immediately.


Communicate during a disaster is an important key to survival. In this article, we show you how to communicate during an emergency. We hope that you find it’s helpful.

And you should also prepare a plan for your loved ones now. Thank you for reading this article.

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