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Using mobile devices to stay informed during severe weather

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How do you check the daily weather forecast? The internet, newspaper, radio, social media and television are great resources. But don’t forget about that device in your pocket or purse – a smartphone. 

A recent U.S. Cellular survey indicated that 93 percent of smartphone owners use their device to check the weather forecast once a month or more. During unpredictable spring and summer weather, people can rely on their mobile devices to stay informed, prepared and connected with a variety of apps and accessories when severe weather threatens or hits.

The weather can change in an instant. Smartphones such as the iPhone 7 or Samsung Galaxy S8 can help you stay a step ahead of Mother Nature. There are a number of smartphone features that can help simplify your day if the skies quickly turn from sunny to stormy.

U.S. Cellular offers the following tips to help you track turbulent weather:

Access social media – Social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter have become a preferred way to quickly get and share information. During severe weather, they can help provide real-time updates and keep you in contact with loved ones. 

Ample accessories – If your phone allows, remember to carry an extra battery in case you need to use your phone during a storm and can’t charge it. It's also a good idea to have a car charger in case you lose power and are unable to charge a mobile device indoors.

Check weather, news apps – The Weather Channel and AccuWeather have reliable and popular apps that provide weather updates anywhere. Local media outlets may also have apps to ensure you will have the latest news at your fingertips.

Prepare Ready.gov encourages families to develop and practice an emergency plan; there are tips and steps on the site to guide you.

Text to stay in touch – Texting can be helpful during severe weather. If phone service is impacted because of a storm or high call volume, text messages could still go through because they require less network bandwidth than calls.

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