COLUMBIA, S.C., May 28 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- 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.
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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.
South Carolina residents recently received even more reasons to create and discuss emergency plans. 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."
To help South Carolinians prepare further for severe weather, EMBARQ also will provide free corded landline phones at its participating retail stores while supplies last to customers who come into its stores and request one.
"In addition, as disasters occur in EMBARQ's service areas, our payphone services division will deploy and set up portable phone banks within 24 hours where residents can place calls," Alcazar said. "Each person will have up to 15 minutes of calling time and the phone banks will be stationed in the affected areas for up to 30 days."
Once a communications plan is created, Appy recommends these safety tips.
- Compile a "Ready-to-Go Kit" in case your family needs to leave your
home and a "Ready-to-Stay Kit" in case your family needs to stay inside
your home for an extended time. Kits should contain water, canned food,
can opener, flashlight, battery-powered radio, extra batteries, change
of clothes and first aid.
- Designate a safe meeting place outside your home and out of harm's way.
- Designate a safe place to stay in your home in case of severe weather.
- Teach your children how to use the phone to call for help.
- Update wireless phones with "In Case of Emergency" (ICE) contact
For more information and tips, visit embarq.com/severeweather.
Embarq Corporation (NYSE: EQ), headquartered in Overland Park, Kansas, offers a complete suite of communications services. The company has approximately 18,000 employees and operates in 18 states. EMBARQ is included in the S&P 500 and is in the Fortune 500(R) list of America's largest corporations.
For consumers, EMBARQ offers an innovative portfolio of services that includes reliable local and long distance home phone service, high-speed Internet, wireless, and satellite TV from DISH Network(R) -- all on one monthly bill.
For businesses, EMBARQ has a comprehensive range of flexible and integrated services designed to help businesses of all sizes be more productive and communicate with their customers. This service portfolio includes local voice and data services, long distance, Business Class High Speed Internet, wireless, satellite TV from DIRECTV(R), enhanced data network services, voice and data communication equipment and managed network services.
For more information, visit embarq.com.
SOURCE Embarq Corporation