Text First. Talk Second.

From Safe America, www.safeamericaprepared.org.

Safe America created the Text First. Talk Second. to raise public awareness around the importance of utilizing text messaging for non-emergency communications during a disaster.

When disasters strike, voice networks can become congested with people trying to call each other for non-vital communications. This can result in people in desperate need of help being unable to contact those they need to reach, such as emergency services, friends or loved ones. In some instances, this may also result in emergency service personnel being unable to communicate with each other.

Here is what you can do:

Take the Pledge! Join hundreds of thousands of your fellow citizens in pledging to participate in a preparedness activity (texting) this September.

Get the word out. Let your family and friends know if a natural or man-made disaster happens in your vicinity, the best way to find out if you are okay is to first try and contact you via text message and then phone.

Make sure everyone in your family knows how to use the text messaging function on their mobile phone and if they don’t, teach them.

Finally, this September, do one of the following texting activities: Drill A – Family/Friend/ Emergency Contact: Send, Receive, and Confirm text message with family member or friend.

  1. Individual sends a text message to a family member and/or friend during the exercise, e.g., “I M OK”/ “R U OK”

  2. Family member/friend responds with “I M OK”

Drill B – Employer to Employee Groups: Send, Receive and Confirm text messages with employees.

  1. Employer sends text message to employees announcing a drill, e.g., “This is a texting drill through the alert notification system. For more information on preparedness, please go to www.safeamericaprepared.org (or insert organization website) or contact (supervisor, safety department, etc.) for more information.”

  2. Employees respond by going to the website and/or making the suggested contact for more information on preparedness.

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