Here are a few other ways to keep in touch with the outside world:
Every phone has an email address, and every provider offers something called an email “gateway.” The gateway allows you to send and receive emails via the text message function on your phone.
Here, courtesy of HumanInet, is how to find your phone's email address:
If you’re on Verizon, it’s email@example.com (as in firstname.lastname@example.org), or if that doesn’t work, email@example.com
If you’re on AT&T, it’s firstname.lastname@example.org, or if that doesn’t work email@example.com
If you’re on Sprint, it’s firstname.lastname@example.org
If you’re on T-Mobile, it’s email@example.com
(For other carriers, or to troubleshoot yours, check here.)
Once you have your gateway address, you’ll need to forward your email via SMS to that address.
To do that, go into “settings” in your phone and look for something like “add a forwarding address.” When you find that, type in your phone’s email address.
According to HumanInet, that method may not work on some phones. If you have a problem with your phone, you can use an automated forwarding service like TXTJet, they suggest.
If you want to send an email via text, you can enter you email address instead of a phone number.
If you want to get updates from Twitter accounts when the internet gets spotty, you can set up a SMS “Fast Follow.” You don’t even have to have a Twitter account to get updates from those you choose to follow.
You do this by texting “Follow (username)” to 40404. (Follow@NWS to follow the National Weather Service, for instance).
You cannot use this function to post on Twitter, only to receive notices.
To post something on Twitter, the social media company says to do this:
- Send a text to Twitter code  with the word START.
- Twitter will reply and ask you to text YES to the Twitter short code.
- Text your username to the same number. Do not use the @ symbol or quotation marks. Send your username ONLY. For example: larrybird
- Next, text your password. This is case sensitive, so be sure you are sending your password correctly.
Then you can text messages to go out on your Twitter account.
If you can’t live without Facebook, even during a storm, activate Facebook via SMS by going to Facebook account settings and clicking “Mobile,” it’s on the left side of the page.
Turn on Facebook Message Forwarding and Notifications. After it’s set up, post by texting to 32665 or FBOOK.
You can even search Google by adding 466453 (GOOGLE) to your phonebook, then text to it to search.
Sources: Twitter, The Washington Post; HumanInet; Facebook; Google