Among the best things you can do to help keep your phone battery going and to ease network congestion is to limit your voice calls -- keep them short -- and to send text messages instead.
"Limit non-emergency calls to save battery power and free up wireless networks for emergency workers and operations and send brief text messages instead," Verizon Wireless says in a hurricane preparedness statement. "When the network gets busy, texts have a higher chance of getting through the first time and can be more efficient."
Among other tips offered by Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile:
Keep phones and phone accessories-- batteries and chargers -- in sealed plastic bags to avoid water damage.
If you have an extra phone battery and you have power, charge that battery so it's ready.
Add to your phone's contact list all key emergency phone numbers and email addresses, including police, fire and rescue agencies; schools and service people.
If you are being evacuated, forward home or work phone calls to your wireless number.
Use your phone's camera to take photos or video of your property and valuables before the storm hits, so you have "before" photos if your home suffers storm damage.
If cell service is down in your area, but your home Wi-Fi network is working, switch to Wi-Fi on your phone.