Article from Kings County Office of Emergency Management in Hanford, CA.

Have you noticed how many people are giving up their landline phones for cell phones? If you do still have a landline, do you have an old stand by “corded phone” or is it strictly a cordless? With technology improving at warp speed, many are trying to cut back and save money wherever they can. Many are depending on their cell phones as their only source of communication, dumping their landlines. That concerns me and I will tell you why….cellular networks can be useless during times of emergency!

orange phoneHave you ever thought in an emergency just how reliable your cell towers will be? Just this past fall season, on two occasions, not only did I lose power for a time, I also lost cell phone service for over a week each time; apparently it takes a week per 1 day of power outage to get your cell service back. While the towers were in repair I was cut off from the cell phone world; no calls, not texts, unable to communicate with my two college kids who rely solely on their cell phones for communications! Wow, what a wake up call! Of course, I still have my landline-cordless phone as well as the good ole fashion corded phone! When you lose power, you can always plug in your old stand by – setting aside your cordless phone-cordless phones will not work when the power goes out.

When dealing with emergency preparedness, I had learned early on that it is never wise to get rid of your landline phone. When all else fails, your trusty landline phone will be there for you, ready to dial out and receive calls.

Top 15 reasons to keep your landline phone:

  1. Emergencies (911): You will receive a quicker response if you have to call 911. You will not only be easily located, but also more specifically located than if you called 911 from your cell phone. What if you were choking, having a stroke or heart attack and could not speak to give directions over the phone? Simply calling 911 from your landline will get you the most accurate and quickest response.
  2. Power Outages: Landline phones have proven to be the most reliable in a power outage. Make sure you have an old-fashioned “corded” phone to plug in. I have a Trimline corded phone with big square push buttons as my good ‘ole standby. I keep it in the box it came in the kitchen next to the landline outlet.
  3. During and After Natural Disasters: Landlines have also been proven more reliable during and after natural disasters than mobile devices.
  4. Security: Hackers cannot gain access to conversations on a land line.
  5. Better Quality: With all the advances in phone technology, the landline still has better sound quality than a cell. Some cells, like mine, have this awful delay when talking so that by the time the person on the other hears my voice, it sounds as if I am interrupting their conversation.
  6. Alarm Systems: Most security alarm systems require that you have a home phone to connect to.
  7. No charging batteries: You do not have to charge any batteries with a landline phone, and if your power is out for a while, you will not be able to charge your portable cordless phones either.
  8. No dropped calls: Have you ever been in the middle of telling a great story and your call was dropped without you even hearing it? Now, you wonder, how much of the story did the person on the other end actually hear? More importantly, how much do you have to repeat?
  9. Private conversations: Cell phone conversations are sent through waves and it is more possible for someone to hear your private conversations, as well as with a cordless phone. However, your trusty landline conversations are sent through cable making it harder to break through a call.
  10. Faxing capabilities: If you are used to faxing from your home, you must have a landline connection.
  11. Babysitter does not have a cell phone: If your babysitter does not have a cell phone, how is she going to call you or 911 if there is an emergency? Better yet, how are you going to call to check in on your precious one?
  12. Collect calls can only be received to a landline phone: You may think you may never need to receive a collect call, but what if your kids call from school or adult children from out of town, or maybe a family member is traveling and has had an emergency? You just never know.
  13. Peace of Mind: Cell service, no matter how advanced, is not as reliable as a landline.
  14. Always there when you need it: Have you ever misplaced your cell phone? In an emergency, time is of the essence. A landline phone is always in the same place.
  15. Green & healthy: Landlines have no toxic batteries and are especially safe for children and expecting mothers.

In an emergency, failure is not an option!

How to make an emergency communications plan

The next time you are working on your emergency plan, remember to include communications as part of that plan; making sure you are phone covered.

Establish a “home base” for making emergency calls with a centrally located, easily accessible landline phone. Maybe it is your parents’ home; maybe it is your home.

Designate a safe location within the home during an emergency and establish a safe way out of the residence.

Make an inventory of communication items including all landline phones, wireless phones, batteries, and chargers.

Make a list of emergency contact numbers. The more choices you have to reach 9-1-1 in an emergency, the better, and a corded landline phone should be one of those options!

For the safety of you and your family, you should always plan with this in mind…“Failure is NOT an option!”

Article from Kings County Office of Emergency Management in Hanford, CA.