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New Ways to Keep in Contact with Family Members When Disaster Strikes

    Right after the Boston explosions, people all over the United States and all over the world were trying to find out if their friends and loved ones were okay.
    Right after the Boston explosions, people all over the United States and all over the world were trying to find out if their friends and loved ones were okay. Some got through right away, but others didn't know for hours. With family and people we know traveling all the time you may wonder if there is some way to find out their status more quickly when something bad happens and, believe it or not, one Abilene family has been on both sides of the issue.

    For Mel and Jan Hailey, it was supposed to be a trip they were on to watch their son, Rob, run the Boston Marathon, but it turned out they did not get to go. They said they were shocked when they heard the news. Their son was okay having finished his run about an hour earlier. On 9-11, however, when their daughter was in Washington DC they could not get ahold of her for five hours.

    The Emergency Management Coordinator for the City of Abilene says we should all make plans before we leave town. Google has a disaster message board that is up and running now for the Boston Marathon bombings. Facebook is also testing one but it is currently only Available in Japan. They message boards only work if both parties know how to use it. That means planning for you and your loved one. It also works for others who are concerned.

    The Emergency Management Coordinator said sometimes when you do not have internet access or can't get to a phone right away, just assume the best. That may help you get through those first few moments of anxiety.
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