What to do in the event there is no cell service?

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Here is the intent of the thread, how do i communicate with first responders in the event there is a medical emergency and phone service is interrupted.
 
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I suppose the first order of business would be to contact the local PD and find out what frequencies/devices they monitor. It made sense to me that all first responders monitored a certain ham channel for instance, that way they could relay info/coordinate in a natural disaster but I think I was using to much logic here.
 
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I suppose the first order of business would be to contact the local PD and find out what frequencies/devices they monitor. It made sense to me that all first responders monitored a certain ham channel for instance, that way they could relay info/coordinate in a natural disaster but I think I was using to much logic here.

I just talked to the Fire Chief. He said NO. They don't have any way to communicate with Ham radios and that would require them to install a whole new system. Also, they have no protocols in place if all forms of phone services are down.

They use MEMA(??) radios to communicate between themselves while on emergency calls.
 
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Fyi, just asked 2 msp detail cops, as far as they know no one monitors cb emergency channels (unless it's someone in the radio shack back in the office, even then it's likely not official)

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In God We Trust

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Do the police monitor the Ham/CB frequencies?

There used to be a CB group in the Plymouth/cape area called "react" that monitored channel 9 on the CB. It was a good citizen type group that would call you a tow truck or come and give you a jump if you were close by.

Not sure if they still exist or if they were more than a local group

In my experience, most people on the radio will help you out or at least make a call for you if you need it.
 

n1oty

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MEMA monitors many ham repeater frequencies, both in training and in actual emergencies. There is a list out there somewhere.
 
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In my town, our local CERT team will be up and running if there is some sort of disaster. Lots of us have HAM's and our emergency truck has a HAM installed in it too. It makes group communication really easy.
Now, go get your lic. and figure out how to use the stinking thing! Here is what I recommend to start, and what I got.

Baeofung Radio
Programming cable
Extra battery
Better antenna (they are cheap)
battery eliminator, plugs into your 12v car socket

All of that is about $100, pretty cheap way to get your feet wet and figure some things out. And the lic. test is $15, again, cheap and well worth it.
And if you can find a local club (I'm still looking) they can help you out with figuring things out. There is a lot to learn! I am still a noob and it gets overwhelming quite fast, like I said, lots to learn.
 
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When my firstborn was 3 weeks old we had a major winter storm come through the area. I was trapped at work for three days because the roads were shut down and she was trapped alone at home with the child.
All you can do is have the stuff on hand so that you don't have to worry so much about the other parent being without some essential *thing*.
This was before cell phones and while we had landline access, I think what I posted above applies.
We couldn't even rely on the extended family support system because none of them could legally travel on the roads
If it was a longer term outage like the storm that shut down the east coast for a month in the late 90s, you'd need more preps and figure out a way to communicate a couple of times a day to get essential messages to each other
What that system is will depend, like everything else, on what all the parties are comfortable using and what you can afford.

Here is the intent of the thread, how do i communicate with first responders in the event there is a medical emergency and phone service is interrupted.
Depends. If you live in a small village with the fire dept within walking distance, that may be an option.
Some areas may monitor CB or HAM freqs in times of emergency
You need to check with your local FDs and LEOs as to what your area plans to do on this issue.
Your county or municipality may even have an emergency plan posted on a local gov't website that may offer you some guidance.
You may want to forge some relationships ahead of time with your local volly FF's or local police/ Deputies.
Join the FD. Become a police aux if that option exists. Support the FD with financial donations and some of your time, if nothing else.
depending on you local pd/fire/emt you can just radio the dispatcher direct [smile]

but seriously, these radios are fun but not for the tech challenged

No offense, but if its a SHTF situation and you hopped on our frequencies and started tying up airtime, you'd get shut down
It's bad enough when our own guys don't practice transmission brevity.
if anyone could hop on our frequency and start yacking there would be issues.
 
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Len-2A Training

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If your concern is FAMILY first, do NOT join any police auxiliary or call FD!!!!!

If you are a member of these orgs in an emergency you WILL be called out and won't see your home or Family for days or weeks. That's a fact.

I got the low-down on this from my late police chief, wrt what happened in the Blizzard of '78 and I joined in '79. Back in '96 my current chief gave me the option of re-joining (but unarmed with no police powers) and I politely said thanks but no thanks . . . my main concern is my Wife, not everyone else in town at this point in our lives. I did my part for 17 years and never had a July 4th off (and my MIL who I loved dearly . . . her birthday was July 3rd when I was working for free!), worked 3 days for free for many of those years when the town really celebrated . . . more time in than if I had worked at my paying job! It gets old and unless you have support structure to take care of your own Family they will suffer in any disaster that puts you on duty.

ETA: Check with your local Civil Defense org, they might monitor CB or Ham freqs in a disaster. And they will have a means to communicate with FD/PD/EMS in such a case.
 

hminsky

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Seems like in a real zombie-invasion situation, where there's no cell service, moving over to the nearest telephone switching building would be a good idea. The one near us has a pretty secure brick building, metal mesh over the windows, a giant diesel generator, and of course you don't need cell service since you're actually at the terminus of a bunch of fiber from local and around the country. And it's mostly empty space now since the switching equipment has shrunk by a factor of 1000x since the place was built.

On a more practical level, having a ham radio license and some cheap dual band HT's would probably be a good way to keep in touch. Especially if you have a base station and an antenna on your roof, you could probably communicate 10 miles without a repeater if you're not trying to get a signal over a hill.
 
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ARRL has a very good online practice exam. See http://arrlexamreview.appspot.com/index.html.

You can use the main ARRL site to find exam sites/dates. With a technician license and minimal equipment (as described above), you can monitor the 2m band. Skywarn http://www.weather.gov/box/skywarnprogram is active on 2m during storms. The frequency list can be found here" http://wx1box.org/node/37. Amateur radio operators become a defacto communications network during any emergency. This summer, I learned about an approaching hail storm that was been tracked by hams and got my car under cover before it could be damaged.

The Halloween storm of 2012 motivated me to get licensed. Six days without power, phone, or internet was an eye opener. The radios are 12V. I have a mobile unit in the car and a handheld for "emergencies".

But be warned--radios are like guns--you can't have just one. And oh the accessories. It is helpful if you have a green thumb to manage the antenna farm. The camaraderie is also addictive. Another similarity to guns is the need to go to NH to a decent shop--Ham Radio Outlet.
 
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Are we talking like cell signal down monster winter storm? or national crisis? Technically speaking 911 will work from a corded landline when the power is out, your connection will only be cut if the lines to your house are destroyed. I use a sat phone on the boat for emergencies/downloading weather charts when im far from vhf/cell range.

Edit: the only thing is that you really cant call 911 from an iridium as the provider doesn't give a shit. You would need to have your local 10 digit emergency number.
 
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I was talking in the event a tree falls and cuts power/phone/television cables.

Sounds like a localized short term emergency
Have you looked into cell phone boosters to maybe give you enough signal strength to reach out with your cell phones
 

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With a new born, my wife and I have been discussing ideas for communication such as wired telephone if there was no cell service.
To communicate with your wife? Over what sort of distances?

Neither the FRS nor CB have much range in the kind of terrain we have in New England. I think ham operators will be there along with cockroaches and Suzuki V-Stroms after The Big Whatever.
 
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FRS/GMRS/CB/Ham radio works fine, as long as the person you want to talk to also has a radio.



Yes, POTS was traditionally powered by the central office (large banks of batteries and big generators), though in an extended outage the CO will eventually shut down as well. Newer phone infrastructure (fiber, etc) may not be powered from a large central office, but instead comes from a local switch. These tend to be more sensitive to power outages, might have backup power for only a couple of days, or less.

Keep in mind to that you should never have a wireless phone if you are going to use the landline as it need power. Just get an old princess style phone with the crunch cord. Also, if you are on FiOS or most cable/voip services you will not have line power and the phone will not work (as noted above) as you need power at both ends of the lit fiber. Anything other than the twisted copper pair will die in a couple of hours. Now I think the COs or EOs have power to last a day or so.
 
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I was talking in the event a tree falls and cuts power/phone/television cables.
In that case, just do what everybody else does -- ''hack'' your neighbors WiFi.

[quoteThePreBanMan]What about an internet VoIP based solution? Skype, MagicJack, etc...
They would probably work. IF you have power. And if the internet providers also have power.[/QUOTE]
OTOH, 99.99% of people get their Internet from Cable, Telephone(DSL) or cellular providers, so unless you subscribe to 2-way satellite Internet, your Internet will go out when voice/cable services go out -- usually about 2 days after the power drops.

With something like HughesNet VOIP or Iridium, you could at least call your family in other states and describe to them what it is like to live without utility power, phone, internet...
 
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I'm not sure how truthful my boss at the time was being with me but she had said the FCC monitored the hand held radios when I worked in Colorado. One of my roommates worked on another mountain and I would "borrow" one of the radios(the huge kind with the key pad) when nobody was looking to find out which bar all of us were heading to after work. We had an inter-mountain phone system but she bagged me on it once BS'ing with some other friends on a different mountain so she left me no other choice. [laugh] All I know is I was told someone called the main office, which led to my locations office getting a call, which led to my boss getting a call, which led to me being spoken to about bouncing "where are we drinking tonight" and "stop bringing that slam pig to the pub" conversations off the repeaters.

Mind you this was back before everyone had cell phones and the first gen Motorola StarTac still commanded a price between $700-$800 and the Nokia 9110i Communicator was one of the newest most kick ass cell phones on the block.
 

usp45ct

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I was talking in the event a tree falls and cuts power/phone/television cables.

In 2011, the town I live in had some shirty weather. First a blizzard in the spring, a tornado in June, a microburst 3 weeks later then a blizzard before Halloween that was far more widespread. I lost power for better part of 20 days all totaled. Cell phones down, internet list with the power. The only thing I had that was stable was my Verizon Landline. The corded kind on the wall n the kitchen functioned flawlessly. in some towns, the phone lines are not with the power and cable lines and are underground.


the house phone and a radio backup would seem reasonable depending on the emergency and the length of the emergency.
 
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this is the thread that just keeps on ticking... until the power goes out [grin]

like others said the ole copper service is reliable but becoming a rarity.

cell towers can loose power too and while many have backup generators eventually those will go down too. FCC was pushing for each tower to have 8 hours of backup battery or generator time but many have less to none. and depending on the situation, there's also that gov controlled off switch.

without a ham or other radio, trekking to the nearest road with traffic and flagging someone down might be your best option for communications.

aside from a 4x4/snow mobile things like snow shoes and cross country skis are wonderful things to have. bicycle in warmer weather is reliable too!
 
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I suppose the first order of business would be to contact the local PD and find out what frequencies/devices they monitor. It made sense to me that all first responders monitored a certain ham channel for instance, that way they could relay info/coordinate in a natural disaster but I think I was using to much logic here.

I think this is the key question. It seems there are too many variables depending on your local service, you need to reach out to them explain the best way to contact them in an emergency. Also you should consider who your second call is going to be to, if your local service is unavailable.

I would keep it simple and start with installing a land line. If I understand it correctly, you don't need service on a land line to make emergency calls (same as a call phone), just the hardware. Most homes are still hard wired for phone service, you'd only need to purchase a non battery operated phone and plug it in:

http://www.amazon.com/Cetis-SCI-250...UTF8&qid=1419616468&sr=8-1&keywords=red+phone
 
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Also, has anyone considered getting a satellite phone for emergency purposes? At first glance it seems there are options out there that would keep a sat phone available for emergency use for only a few hundred dollars a year. Seems like it might be worthwhile...
 
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