One story was recounted by one of the organizers. Back in 1989, when the San Francisco Bay area was hit by the Mw 6.9 Loma Prieta earthquake, the narrator explained that he was worried about a close relative who lived in the epicentral area. Phone calls were not going through. Not too long after his failure to communicate, however, he got a call from an out-of-state relative, claiming that the SF relative "was fine," and they knew this because he had "stood in line" to send a radiogram.
This is exactly how the out-of-state contact concept is supposed to work. It may or may not be a radiogram. These days it might be just that one cell phone call you can get through at the time. Either way, you should have a contact whose info you have with you, who can inform the rest of your extended family.
We all took the opportunity to congratulate Grant Gemel KK6AHZ, who was appointed the ARRL Orange Section Traffic Manager (STM) only the day before.