Set Up Your Smart Phone
For Emergency Preparedness

Use your smart phone for emergency preparedness by taking a few simple steps before the disaster strikes.

Military insurance and financial services provider USAA has released a list of suggested steps to set up your smart phone for emergency preparedness and disaster recovery.

"As soon as a hurricane or severe storm becomes a threat, boarding windows and stocking food and water supplies are priority one," says Elizabeth Gulick, executive director of Catastrophe Operations at USAA.

"But taking a few minutes to update your mobile devices with key information can provide an invaluable lifeline and peace of mind in its aftermath."

Using Your Smart Phone
for Emergency Preparedness

As you know, in the aftermath of a hurricane or other natural disaster, communications channels are often disrupted for some time. You can use your smart phone or other mobile device to keep in touch with family and to coordinate response and recovery efforts.

USAA suggests the following steps to set up your smart phone for emergency preparedness and disaster recovery:

  • Create a texting phone tree. Create a network of contacts now so you can be ready to reach them quickly after any hurricane or other natural disaster. Texting may be the only form of communication available in the immediate aftermath.
  • Set up emergency text alerts. In the aftermath of a natural disaster, television and radio access may be limited. If you set up emergency text alerts with your city and your insurer ahead of time, you can increase the chances that you'll stay connected wherever you are, and have access to the latest information.
  • Use mobile banking apps. USAA and other banks have developed mobile banking apps for smart phones that may allow you to move money, pay bills and deposit checks directly from your smart phone. Ready access to your bank accounts can save a lot of headaches after an emergency such as a hurricane other natural disaster.
  • Take advantage of insurance apps. USAA and other insurance companies have smart phone apps that allow you to file claims using your smart phone. This can significantly speed up the recovery process, and put your claim in line ahead of those who don't use smart phone apps.
  • Download emergency service apps. Emergency service apps can allow you to access important resources, such as the American Red Cross.
  • Don't forget the car phone charger and spare battery. If power is out for an extended period of time, your car can serve as a valuable source of energy to recharge your smart phone.

You can find more hurricane emergency preparedness tips on USAA's Disaster and Recovery Center at

If you haven't already, you can download the free USAA Mobile App by visiting the Apple App Store, or download the free USAA Mobile App for Android by visiting the Android Market.

See tips for what to include in your emergency preparedness supplies.

Printable emergency preparedness supplies checklist.

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