Following a disaster, there usually is a high volume of phone calls. It is important that phone calls be limited to emergencies only. Do not call 9-1-1 or the police or fire department for general information about an earthquake or other disaster. Listen to your local radio or television stations for information.
When high call volume causes extreme congestion on the telephone network, phone companies may restrict outgoing calls. This will prevent overloading of the telephone network by diverting some calls to recordings, allowing other calls to be completed.
If you need to place an emergency call:
Ask a relative or friend who lives outside your immediate area to act as a clearinghouse for information about you and your family. It will probably be easier to place a call out of the disaster area, so all family members should know to call this contact person to report their location and condition. Once contact is made, have this person relay messages to your other friends and relatives outside the disaster area. This will help to reduce calling into and out of the affected area.
Tips provided by GTE-February 1995, CA 9503 bulletin.
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