Texting While Driving Can Kill You. Texting Can Also Save Your Life.

Texting can save your life

By now, you have heard that in an emergency, you may be able to get a text message through even when phones are down or overwhelmed.

Do you know how to send a text message?

This brief Advisory is for those parents and grand-parents who really haven’t taken the time to learn how to text, even though texting is going on all around them.

Start with a cell phone.

Just about any cell phone (with enough battery power) can send a text message to another cell phone. You don’t have to be on the same network or have the same phone company.

For this exercise, pretend your personal phone has disappeared. A kind stranger offers to let you use her phone to call your family.

Do you know the phone number of the cell phone you want to send the text to?

This isn’t your phone, so you have no numbers stored. Your emergency number has to be a number you know by heart or have written down!

First choice: the number of your emergency, out-of-town contact person, your “Home Base.” (More on that, below.)

Prepare the message.

  • Find the “messages” icon on the phone. It may look like the blue square or the green bubble on the image above. Tap it. (If you are really interested in the difference between the blue square and the green bubble, you can find out more here. I find it confusing!)
  • What comes up next will depend. What you’re looking for is a little square with a pencil in it – that’s the “write” icon. Tap that icon to bring up the message screen.
  • In the “To” area, type the phone number including area code. (You can toggle between ABC and 123 to get the keys you need.) No need for any punctuation.
  • In the “Message” area, type your message. Be sure you say WHO you are (It’s not your phone, remember?), WHERE you are, HOW you are, and how you can be reached. Limit your text to 160 characters. (To erase, hit the back arrow.)

Send the message.

Hit the “send” button. You’ve done it! Most phones will tell you that the message has been “delivered.”

Of course, there are all kinds of clever twists and turns to texting, but you don’t need any of them now. You just want to be able to send a simple message!

My recommendation? Find a friend (child? grandchild?) who texts often and get him to send a few back and forth with you, so you become comfortable with how it all works.

You may find out, like I did, that it’s fun and convenient! No texting while driving, though . . .

Your Emergency Plan Guide Team

P.S. Remember that “Home Base” comment, above?

Family Communications Plan

If you didn’t immediately know what number to call, you need our new Emergency Plan Guide worksheet, called Family Communications Plan. It’s 2 simple pages that explain the Home Base concept, and give you a place to fill in the blanks. 

Don't miss a single Advisory.

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.