Earlier this year, the nation held a breath when snowstorms zapped power across the central and southern states. Thousands of families shivered in the cold without water or electricity in their homes. Tap or click here to prepare for winter storms.
Ingenuity and preparation can make a world of difference in times like this. When disaster strikes, you want to have put together a game plan ahead of time. After all, no one wants to be left out in the cold.
That’s why we’re sharing this tech hack that can help you in case you’re ever stranded in the middle of nowhere. If your battery is low and your service or data is still working, change your voicemail. It could just change your life.
How to turn your phone into an SOS signal
Say you’re lost, your car runs out of gas, or you’re in a dangerous situation. The first thing you should do is call and text your family and friends. In some places, you can even text 911.
Also, turn off anything that’s using your battery. That means checking background apps. Were you using Spotify, YouTube or Google Maps before your car ran out of gas, for instance? Shut them down.
These are demanding apps that can eat up battery space. Turning them off lets your phone last as long as possible. Tap or click here to find out which apps drain your phone’s battery and storage the most.
Next, change your voicemail greeting
Give specifics like where you are and describe what’s happening. Tell them if you’re hurt and give details about your surroundings.
Are you alone? Are you near a gas station? Did you sprain your ankle in a car crash? Give as many details as possible. You want to make it easy for your loved ones to find you.
Don’t dawdle. You want to act quickly before your phone battery dies. On the bright side, this trick works even if your phone battery is dead.
How to get it done on an iPhone
First, select the Phone app from your home screen. Then, tap Voicemail. From there, select Greeting in the upper-left corner. Your screen will look something like this:
From there, select Custom to record a greeting. Hit Record and start describing your situation and asking for help if you need any. Then, tap Stop to end the recording and hit Save.
Do the job on an Android
To record a new greeting, head to the Google Voice app. Then, follow these steps:
- Tap Menu.
- Tap Settings.
- Select Voicemail greeting.
- Tap Record a greeting.
- Hit Record to let anyone who calls you know what’s going on.
When you’re done, hit Stop. You can then tap Play to listen to the recording. If it sounds good, tap Save. This makes sure your new greeting is actually saved.
But this doesn’t entirely change your greeting. To do that, head back to Settings. Under the Voicemail header, select Voicemail greeting. Find the greeting you want to use and tap More. Hit Set as active. Just like that, you made sure that people will know what’s going on, even if your phone dies.
Now, share this know-how with your friends and family. Tech tips like this can make a world of difference in a life-or-death situation!