911 Outage: Tips to Be Prepared When the Service Isn't Functioning
What’s your plan when a 911 call doesn’t go through? Recently, AT&T experienced a 911 service outage, leaving some mobile phones unable to reach emergency services.. Today we're covering a few things you can do to be prepared for a 911 outage.
Without getting too far into the weeds, 911 service in the U.S. is basically a call routing service that uses your approximate location to connect you to the right emergency services area. Cell phones use the closest signal tower to approximate your location and if a provider is having issues with their system, the call might not route properly. AT&T hasn't gone into specifics regarding what caused their outage, but several states were affected.
If you’re around multiple people with cell phones when you experience a 911 outage, consider trying someone else’s phone; especially if they’re with another carrier.
Overall though, your best bet to prepare for this scenario is simply to save your local Police non-emergency number in your phone. If your area has multiple numbers listed, consider contacting your local Police station to inquire about which number is best to use during a 911 outage.
When traveling, consider looking up some of the non-emergency numbers for the areas you’ll be in and save them to your phone. You can always search them online when you’re in the area, but during an emergency the last thing you want to rely on is an online search for a phone number.
Lastly, we always advocate being prepared to handle emergencies yourself by keeping a good Trauma Kit and First Aid Kit on hand. A good fire extinguisher is also something that you should have in important areas of your house, as well as your vehicle. 911 services are extremely valuable, but depending on your location and the nature of the emergency, they may not have enough time to get to you. Being prepared to treat injuries or put out fires can make all the difference.