Emergency Group Emails and Text Lists
Create a group address for emergency text messages. Make sure that you have the mobile numbers of all the key people that you would want notified in an emergency, in your address book. Next, go into your address book application. Hit the menu key (the BlackBerry logo directly to the left of your trackball) and select the option "New Group." Name your emergency group. Choose a group name that will be easy to remember--even if you are in a panic. The main point is to be able to quickly find the name so that you can quickly jot off one text message that will go to all members.
Once you have named your group, hit the menu key. Select "Add Member." Choose a name from your address book. If there is more than one address option, choose "Mobile." Once you have added all of your members to your text message group, you can test it out to make sure you know how to use this new tool when you need it most. You can send a text message to your group either in the Address Book application or in the Messages application. In the Address Book, go to your group entry, hit the menu key and choose the "SMS Text" option. Once you hit that option, you can send a text message to the group in the same way that you would to an individual. Your one message goes out to everyone in the group list. You can also use group addresses to set up a group email list. To do this, you follow the same instructions for text messages, except you add e-mails instead of mobile numbers to the group. You send emails to group addresses just as you would send them to individuals.
Here is an example of how this may be used:
You find yourself on the highway driving near the scene of a multi-vehicle automobile crash. The highway is blocked and you will be stuck in your vehicle for a long while. Television news helicopters are circling overhead giving live coverage of the massive accident. You can see the smoke and flames from the wreckage a half mile ahead. Your family knows your normal path of travel to and from work. You don't want them to turn on the news and think that you were involved in the accident. So you pull out your trusty BlackBerry and send a quick text message to your emergency group address: I'm fine. Stuck in highway traffic. These simple words quickly jotted off in two seconds, may have spared your family what would have seemed like an eternity of agony to them.