LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (USAA) - As Little Rock residents brace for potentially severe weather this weekend, USAA reminds people to make their mobile devices storm-ready as part of routine home and safety preparations.
Extreme weather can disrupt communication channels, making mobile devices essential tools for residents to keep in touch with family as well as with response and recovery efforts. USAA offers six tips to help residents make their mobile devices storm-ready:
1. Have a car phone charger and spare battery - If power is out for an extended period, your car can be a valuable source of energy.
2. Set up emergency text alerts - Access to television or radio could be limited. By setting up emergency text alerts with your city or insurer when available, you can increase the chance that you'll stay connected wherever you are.
3. Create a texting phone tree - Create a network of contacts so you can reach them quickly after any sort of extreme weather. Texting may be the only available form of communication.
4. Take advantage of insurance apps - Some insurance companies, including USAA, allow their customers to report claims using their smartphones to quickly start the recovery process.
5. Download emergency service apps - Emergency service apps will allow you to access important resources, such as the American Red Cross.
6. Utilize mobile banking apps - Many banks have developed mobile banking apps for smartphones that allow people to move money, pay bills and deposit checks from their phones. Having ready access to your funds can save a lot of headaches in the storm's aftermath.