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First Lady and the Safe America Foundation Stress Use of Text Messaging During Emergencies

posted Apr 27, 2015, 11:57 AM by   [ updated Apr 27, 2015, 11:57 AM ]

State Capitol
Cheyenne, WY 82002
Ph. (307) 777-7437

September 18, 2014


Michelle Panos
Communications Director

CHEYENNE WY – First Lady Carol Mead joined the Safe America Foundation today to encourage Wyoming residents to “Text First. Talk Second.”TM when letting those closest to them know they are okay after a disaster.

“Being prepared during a natural disaster or other emergency is critical to our safety,” Mrs. Mead said. “I encourage all Wyoming people to have a plan in your families for disasters and other emergencies and to include texting to let each other know you’re okay.”

During and after emergencies, whether they are natural or man-made, SMS text messages will go through before a phone call. Mobile call volume overwhelms­ provider capacity during these incidents. Preparedness experts universally agree that during an emergency and its immediate aftermath, communicating via SMS text messaging should be your first choice. Non-essential calls often shutdown wireless phone service and prevent 911 calls from getting through and hinder emergency personnel from communicating with each other. A single one-minute phone call takes up the same bandwidth as 800 short SMS text messages.

“In today’s environment, where emergencies seem to always be around the corner, it’s critical for people to be prepared to stay in touch when phones lines are overtaxed. Texting is a good alternative to voice communications and is 800 times more likely to connect you. That’s why we’ve made it such an important part of our Foundation’s preparedness messaging,” commented Safe America President and CEO, Len Pagano.

Mrs. Mead’s work in raising awareness on this issue is part of the Safe America Foundation’s First Spouses Campaign – an effort to engage all First Spouses in emergency preparedness activities. Championed initially in 2010 by former First Lady of West Virginia Gayle Manchin, the Campaign has since generated support from First Spouses in various states/territories, currently: Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.