Teaching Americans the Emergency “Textiquette”
Non-profit’s Text First. Talk Second.TM Campaign Aims to Educate Americans about the Importance of Texting when Disaster Strikes
Atlanta, June 19, 2012 – This fall the Safe America Foundation has a set itself the goal of teaching Americas the emergency etiquette of texting, or “textiquette.” The non-profit’s Text First. Talk Second.TM campaign aims to educate Americans about the importance of using SMS text messaging instead of wireless voice communications to let loved ones know they are okay after a disaster strikes – a message the Federal Emergency Management Agency and its Director, Craig Fugate, strongly support.
The September 11, 2001 terror attacks, Hurricane Katrina and the 2011 East Coast earthquake all share something in common – each caused massive mobile phone service disruption for millions of Americans. Non-essential calls during large scale emergencies often shut down voice communications service and can prevent 911 calls from getting connected. Mobile call volume simply overwhelmed provider capacity during these incidents.
Just a single one-minute phone call takes up the same bandwidth as 800 short SMS text messages. Unlike phone calls, text messages get through even when the network is congested. Even if it gets a "busy signal" on its first try the text system will continue to keep trying to deliver your message.
This means that knowing the emergency “Textiquette” of prioritizing text messaging over voice communications for non emergency/non-vital messages and keeping text message short - “R U OK” and “I M OK” - can save a life.
As part of BE Safe America, the Foundation’s nantional emergency preparedness initiative, Text First. Talk Second.TM is working with First Spouses around the United States and Puerto Rico to help Americans absorb this important message. Planned campaign activates will include:
- texting “drills” hosted by various First Spouses a collegiate football games around the country this fall;
- a Public Service Message campaign on YouTube and on television in various states where drills; and
- private sector employee information campaigns with texting drills.
About the Safe America Foundation
The Safe America Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit licensed by the state of Georgia. Chartered in 1994, the Marietta, Georgia based foundation partners with corporate, governmental, public and private sector organizations, and other nonprofits to improve the safety awareness and preparedness of Americans nationwide.
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