Tips to stay in touch with family in Florida

WTVG - Many people in Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan have friends and family in Florida. The close ties are making for nervous days and nights as Hurricane Irma bears down on Florida.

Many are using technology to stay in touch. FEMA has a few suggestions on how to do that.

1. Local phone lines might be jammed but it could be easier to call out of state. Pick an out-of-town contact to serve as a central contact point for the entire family.
2. Designate and out-of-town meeting place in case there is a last minute evacuation.
3. Texting is better than phone calls because texts are more likely to get through and phone calls tax already busy lines.
4. Advise relatives to charge batteries, close apps, dim brightness, avoid watching videos on devices to conserve the battery.

In addition consider using the app Zello. While it requires WiFi or data it uses less bandwidth of phone calls and often works when phone calling doesn't. The app functions like a walkie talkie and messages can be sent among a designated group of people.

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