It's good to be ready - We thought we'd get a little proactive with some general advice on preparation and action to take in case of emergency. We know how important it is to keep in touch with friends, relatives, and loved ones during times of strife and uncertainty, and want to do everything we can to help - being prepared is extremely important. Please take a look at this page on GetThru.govt.nz for helpful information on getting your household ready for severe weather conditions.
Because we're a telco, we've got a few tips around the products and services we provide as well.
Lost power? Extend your phone battery life
We have general battery saving tips for Android and iPhone that may prove useful. In the case of an emergency with no mains power, more extreme measures may be required.
Turn off all features that are non-essential, like Bluetooth and WiFi.
Lower your screen brightness, and enable power saving if your phone supports it.
Turn off mobile data. This prevents apps like Facebook routinely checking in (and using power).
Avoid turning your phone off and on frequently, because that can use more power - if you don't need your phone for a few hours, consider using Airplane mode.
If your phone supports it, switching to 2G-only can conserve battery life.
Network congested? Text, don't call
In an emergency like an earthquake, we recommend texting instead of calling wherever possible, and turning your smartphone's data connection off. During emergencies, there is heavy demand on resources and some cellsites may be unavailable or operating on backup battery power. Please consider the communication needs of others in addition to your own.
If you have a landline phone, it is good to have an older-style corded phone which does not require mains power. In the event of a power cut, you may be able to use this when cordless phones would not work.
Surge protectors are a great idea to protect sensitive home electronics like computers and broadband modems in the event of lightning strikes or major power surges.
For your emergency kit
Many mobile phones have built-in FM radios - these usually require a wired headset to function (It acts as the radio antenna). As FM radio can be extremely useful for urgent emergency communications, you may wish to keep a spare headset packed in with other emergency supplies.
Consider picking up an external battery pack with a USB charging port on it - these can hold their charge for a long time, and can be very helpful - especially if friends or relatives have phones running on an empty tank.
We hope this all helps - If you have any other great tips, please join the discussion and leave a comment below. Stay safe out there!