Mobile communication has become so commonplace in our modern lives that we often don’t recognize it for its tremendous value in an emergency. A cell phone with at least some battery juice can be absolutely priceless in a survival situation. Here are five ways it can save your life.

1. Call for Help
Pretty obvious, right? But definitely life-saving, provided you have a signal. This is the first thing to try in an emergency situation. If you don’t have enough signal strength to connect for a phone call in a remote area, try texting. It’s more likely that you’ll be able to send a text than get a call to connect in hilly, mountainous, or remote areas, since texts don’t require as much data.

2. Get Located
Should the need arise, various agencies might get involved in the rescue effort to find you (and your phone). This takes some coordination between the local authorities and the Feds, but agencies like the FBI can pinpoint the signal from your phone down to one square meter.

3. Light the Way
Some of the more “preparedness friendly” phones on the market have built-in flashlights. Imagine the difference a little light would make in the deep, dark woods, or even in an urban survival scenario like a blackout. If your phone wasn’t built with a flashlight feature, many smart phones can download a “flashlight” app that forces your camera flash to stay on. If nothing else, crank your screen brightness intensity. Realize, though, that these solutions will all drain a battery pretty quickly.

4. Navigate
Maybe your phone has a built-in compass, or you’ve downloaded some mapping apps. If so, and even without cellular service, your phone can either show you where you are, or what direction you’re facing.

5. Use Apps
The smartest of phones can be loaded with apps that can impart some extra knowledge should you find yourself wondering how to perform certain survival skills. These apps should always be considered a backup to the actual knowledge and experience carried in your head, but they can’t hurt. Apps on knot tying, plant identification, fishing, hunting, animal tracking, and many other outdoors skills are just a tap away.

Of course, none of this makes any difference if you don’t take your phone with you. Make sure it’s charged and secured on your person before your next outing.

Ever been saved by your phone? Let us hear about it in the comments.