Friday, May 27, 2011

The Role Of Your Out Of Area Contact

The first step to prepping is to have a plan.  Part of that plan is to have local and out of area contacts that you can get in touch with.  These out of area people serve many purposes and every member of your family should have their numbers and spare change for pay phones to be able to call them if the need arises.

The first and foremost role of this contact person is to collect information from separated family members and to relay that information back to you.  Local cell phone service and even land line communication could be severly limited from the masses of people trying to get in touch with each other.  In a case like this, an out of area call can usually be made much easier that local calls.  Every member of your household should get in touch with them regardless of where they are.  This way, when someone calls, you family will have a better idea of what to do and where to go.  The plan may be to get everyone back home where Mom is waiting, or to go to the local church or school because your house has been cut off for some reason or another.

Secondly, your out of area contact will likely have access to more information regarding the local disaster than you do.  This will be valuable information as your access to radio, internet or television reports will be severely disrupted.  This information will give you a better idea of the scope of the situation and help you make informed decisions for your plan of action.

Last but not least, this contact could be a stop location on your way to a temporary location while you wait out the mayhem.  Even better, try to make this person your temporary location.  If family is separated, they will be able to direct everyone to them for reuniting.

Given that most disasters are local events and during that time, communications and information will be hampered, an out of the area contact will be a valuable resource.  Make sure everyone knows how to contact them and has the ability to do so.  When disaster strikes, they should be one of the first people you talk to.  Let them know where you are and where you plan to meet, who has not checked in, and get as much information about the situation as possible.  Doing this can be the difference between a successful survival plan and pure confusion.

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