NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — With Hurricane Season fast approaching, it’s important to stay connected when you need it most.

Ahead of the tropic season, AT&T is preparing for the worst to help customers develop the best plan of action when tragedy strikes to keep you and your family safe. Here’s what the experts have to say.

AHEAD OF THE STORM

  • Back up important information and protect vital documents. Back up insurance papers, medical information, and personal documents to the Cloud or your computer. With cloud storage, you can access your data from any connected device.
  • Have a family communications plan. Choose someone out of the area as a central contact in case your family is separated. Most importantly, practice your emergency plan in advance.
  • Store emergency contacts in your mobile phone. Numbers should include the police department, fire station, hospital, and family members.

DURING THE STORM AND THE AFTERMATH

  • Keep your mobile devices charged. Be sure to have another way to charge your smartphone if the power goes out.  A car charger or backup battery pack can come in handy. If you have multiple devices to keep charged, consider a multi-port backup battery pack.
  • Save your smartphone’s battery life. In case of a power outage, extend your device’s battery life by putting it in power-save mode, turning off Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, deleting apps, or putting your phone in Airplane Mode. This may prevent you from using certain features, but it- will ultimately save battery power.
  • Track the storm on your mobile device. If you lose power at your home during a storm, you can use your mobile device to access local weather reports.
  • Try texting vs. calling. Because it requires fewer network resources, text messages may go through more quickly than voice calls.
  • Keep your mobile devices dry. Mobile phones can be a critical lifeline during a storm. To protect yours, store it in a water-resistant case, floating-waterproof case or plastic bag.
  • Forward your home number to your mobile number in the event of an evacuation. Because call forwarding is based out of the telephone central office, you will get calls from your landline phone even if your local telephone service is down. If the central office is not operational, services like voicemail and call forwarding may be useful.
  • Take advantage of the camera on your smartphone. Be sure to use the camera on your phone to take, store and send photos and video clips of damage to your insurance company.
  • Use location-based technology. These services can help you find evacuation routes and track a lost family member’s mobile phone.
  • Be prepared for high call volume and keep non-emergency calls to a minimum. If there is severe weather, chances are many people will be attempting to place calls at the same time. The increased calling volume may create network congestion. If you get a “fast busy” sig

On top of staying connected with your family, stay connected with WGNO’s latest weather updates by downloading the WGNO app and following us on Facebook and Twitter to be informed when it matters most.

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