Communication is vital during any disaster. It’s how you check-in and update loved ones, contact responders, and connect with others if you’re alone. Nobody wants to deal with weak or bad signals during an emergency. Crises already cause enough trouble.
Disasters come in various forms, ranging from flash floods to fast-spreading wildfires—not to mention Canada’s favorite and frequent visitor, snowstorms. The best way to conquer any disaster is to set yourself up with the right preparations. To help you stay connected in emergencies and prepare for future disasters, here is a guide to prepping for a disaster: keeping your cell signal boosted edition.
Before a Disaster
Preparing your home before a disaster equips you with essential tools to help you, minimizing the number of things you have to worry about during a disaster.
Invest in Cell Phone Signal Boosters
Equipping your home, vehicle, or RV with a cell phone signal booster keeps your line of communication strong, clear, and available during various circumstances. Signal boosters work by capturing nearby phone signals, amplifying the weak signals, and rebroadcasting the signals to your desired area. They prevent calls from dropping and incoherent transactions, creating optimal grounds for good communication.
Choose the Right Signal Booster for Your Home
The perfect booster for your car may not be an ideal cell phone signal booster for your apartment. Since cell phone boosters come in varying forms, you want to make sure you pick the best match for your space. SureCall offers a diverse inventory of cell phone boosters, providing you with compatible sets for all kinds of locations. You’ll want to make some considerations when investing in a well-suited signal booster for your car, home, or RV. These include the size of the area you want to cover, nearest available signals, the structure of your building, house, or vehicle, and your surroundings.
Pick the Best Installation Location for Your Antennas
Boosters consist of antennas and the amplifier itself. Sometimes, an antenna and booster merge into one component. The placement of your antennas can determine the optimization of their operation. For outdoor antennas designed for buildings, make sure to walk around the entire outside space to check for a spot with the strongest connection to nearby signals and towers. Outdoor antennas for vehicles work best at the back end of the car’s hood. A rule of thumb for indoor antennas is to place them around 20 feet vertically and 50 feet horizontally away from the outdoor antenna and in the area you want to use your phone the most. If you have a disaster shelter or a room designated the safest place to go during disasters, place the indoor antennas within those zones. That’s where you will want to receive reception.
Minimize Surrounding Disruptors
Certain things and objects disrupt signals. Sometimes, more disruptors appear during disasters, but eliminating or avoiding initial disruptors minimizes the number of barriers you would have to deal with during the emergency. Possible disruptors include obscuring buildings, building materials, dense forests, mountains, certain phone cases, and other obstacles in the signal pathways between towers and antenna.
Update Your Phone
Minimize your struggles of connecting to a network during a disaster by regularly updating your phone. Updating your phone to the latest software can ensure that your phone operates properly. Some software updates add an extra boost to the lines of communication between phones and network towers, creating better reception. Also, upgrading your phones to the latest available technology further ensures quality connections. The more advanced cellular networks become, the higher quality signals they generate, like 3G, 4G, and 5G networks. Older phone models can’t connect or lack compatibility with newer networks. By making sure you carry a reasonably recent phone model, you’ll be able to access those better networks.
Charge Portable Power Banks
Low phone charges make it difficult for your phone to connect to networks. They switch their priorities to focus on saving your battery’s life and put less energy into capturing nearby signals. Just in case unexpected disasters occur suddenly, keep your phone’s battery health at a decent level. As a backup plan or fail-safe in emergencies, store charged portable power banks around your home, in your vehicle, or in safe rooms.
During a Disaster
Depending on the situation, sometimes, there is very little that you can do. However, to add additional aid to your cell phone’s boosted signal, there are a couple of tips to keep in mind.
As previously mentioned, certain disasters create disruptions to one’s network. Heavy storms, strong winds, mudslides, and floods create large amounts of debris that block the signal’s pathways, disrupting the connection. Other disasters featuring dense precipitation or thick fog further obstruct signal passages, weakening connectivity. Identifying any disruptors helps you remove some of those barriers or find a better location to stand with unobstructed signal paths.
Inspect Your Phone
If you struggle to connect to signal, sometimes, the issue is with the phone instead of the network. Depending on the disaster, your cell phone might endure damage, causing an interruption in the phone’s signal or hindering its ability to operate. Restarting your phone or turning airplane mode on and off again refreshes the phone’s operation system and reconnects it to the nearest available network. For a full reboot, extract your SIM card and return it to its place.
Maintain Your Battery Level
Maintaining your battery level optimizes your phone’s functionality, as alluded to before, and ensures your phone can take and make calls. Along with your portable power packs, you can save your battery by turning off unnecessary features and changing settings. Switching your phone to low brightness and turning off Wi-Fi lessens your battery usage. Plus, closing any running tabs and apps further saves energy.
Prepping for a disaster by keeping your cell signal boosted creates opportunities for necessary communication to occur. Dropping from a call in the middle of talking to someone is always frustrating, especially when you need to contact someone the most. Boosted cell phone signals could help save a life during those critical moments when you need to reach emergency numbers. Disasters create numerous scenarios in which the ability to make a phone call can change your entire experience. Quality phone connection allows you to call for help if you or someone gets seriously injured or requires immediate removal from a premise after a disaster. Other times, the ability to call a friend makes those long, isolated hours in a dark power outage caused by a storm more bearable.