For the vast majority of families, our day-to-day lives fly by mostly according to plan. Parents go to work, kids to school and we take the dog for a leisurely after dinner stroll. It’s easy to get set in our routines and take our family’s safety for granted.
Unfortunately, sometimes it takes a tragedy, like the devastation caused by the earthquakes in Mexico to remind us that dangers of all types can strike at will and there’s little-to-nothing we can do to prevent them. But while preventing a catastrophe isn’t an option to keep our families safe, preparedness is, and in many cases, having a plan is the best bastion from danger.
It’s also important to understand that a plan is only the one part of the equation to keep one step ahead of life-changing events. The other is a reliable form of communication; after all, if you’re unable to contact your family, how are you supposed to execute your established safety plan?
The first thing that may come to mind is that “We all have cell phones, I’ll just text or call them if there’s an emergency. Problem solved.”
Think of any time you’ve been in a large crowd – at a concert, festival or ballgame; your texts won’t go through because of all the data being exchanged in the area. This same obstacle often occurs during emergency situations as people are scrambling to contact loved ones and find information online. And while spotty network performance is typically a mild annoyance, in the event of an emergency it could be the difference between life and death.
Enter: The In-telligent app
In-telligent’s notification system was designed to better deal with cellular congestion by operating on a special frequency different from where the vast majority data is sent.
Put simply: During large-scale emergencies, your cell provider spectrum gets congested because too many devices are trying to connect.In-telligent’s notfications avoid all that “traffic” – so you can be sure that you and your family will be able to communicate when it matters most. Think of it as an “express lane” for important notifications
Cellular congestion isn’t the only inherent obstacle when attempting to communicate with cell phones via text or voice call.
These days, it’s common cell phone etiquette to keep phones on silent throughout the day. This is particularly an issue if we’re in a business meeting or participating in an activity where we would place a cell phone in a bag, suitcase or locker. In these cases, if your loved one has an emergency, it’s going to be extremely difficult to reach you.
In-telligent thought of this as well by creating their Personal Community feature. With a Personal Community, you have the ability to send a message that overrides a recipient’s silent or do not disturb setting, ensuring your message is seen. The alerts have different volumes and tones based on the level of emergency, the loudest of which can easily be heard through crowd noise, pockets, or other places your phone may be stowed away.
Now that we’ve established the best way to communicate your plan, let’s iron out the best way to create one.
FEMA has compiled a pretty comprehensive checklist for creating a emergency communication plan, and we fully support 99% of it with one major change. They claim that “text is best” when it comes to communicating during an emergency, but as we just discovered, there’s no substitute for In-telligent. We’ve distilled the main points below, or you can take a look at the full list here if you’re so inclined.
Essentially, there are three primary parts to a reliable family emergency plan: Collect, Share and Practice. Let’s break these down a bit more in depth:
● Collect – Digital communication is the latest and greatest, but it’s always good to have a failsafe, so be sure create a paper copy of your family’s contact information and other important people/offices, such as medical facilities, doctors, schools, or service providers.
● Share – In addition to requiring your family to have a copy of the plan on their phones, make sure everyone carries that hard copy of your list in his or her backpack, purse, or wallet. If you complete your Family Emergency Communication Plan online at ready.gov/make-a-plan , you can print it onto a wallet-sized card. You should also post a copy in a central location in your home, such as your refrigerator or family bulletin board.
● Practice – It makes perfect. And in case of an emergency every second counts. That’s why you should be sure tohave regular household meetings to review and practice your plan.
In-telligent would like to add one more part: Download
Download the In-telligent app and set up a Personal Community between you and your loved ones, ensuring you can communicate even if cell signals are congested or the recipient’s phone is on silent.
As we look back at the historic natural disasters that continue to rage across the globe, we owe it to ourselves and loved ones to look back and learn. Only then can we look forward to the future and declare: When it comes to safety, we’ll no longer take it for granted, instead we we’ll take initiative.