Text First. Talk Second.

Safe America created the ‘Text First. Talk Second™’ communications campaign to raise awareness around the importance of utilizing text messaging for non-emergency communications during a disaster.

When disasters strike, voice networks can become congested with people trying to call each other for non-vital communications. This can result in people in desperate need of help being unable to contact those they need to reach.  In some instances, this may also result in emergency service personnel being unable to communicate with each other.

In order to help Americans realize that texting should be their first choice of communication during an emergency, here are several simple actions you can plan on this year:

1. Take the Pledge!
Join hundreds of thousands of your fellow citizens in pledging to participate in a preparedness activity (texting) this September and October. 

2. Get the word out.
Let your family and friends know if a natural or man-made disaster happens in your vicinity, the best way to find out if you are okay is to first try and contact you via text message and then phone.

3. Teach Texting.
Make sure everyone in your family knows how to use the text messaging function on their mobile phone and if they don’t, teach them.

4. Memorize the ‘Text Safety Shorthand.’
Remember the short-hand for checking on a friend, family members' safety. All you need to do is send a 4-letter text ‘RUOK’ with the reply IMOK.

5. Plan a Practice Drill.
This September (National Preparedness Month) and October, plan on practicing how you’d reply in an emergency.

For more information, email Mary Lou Pagano at marylou.pagano@safeamerica.org.