Cell Phones are not for emergency calls. In an emergency situation you may have the need to make that all important call. It may be to a loved one, or to the paramedics and your life may depend upon being able to successfully make that call. Is it wise to rely on only a cell phone to make such a call?
The problem with relying upon a cell phone for an emergency call is that a cell phone network does not have the reliability that a land line does. Under heavy call volume the network may fail completely, because it isn’t built to cope with a high percentage of it’s subscribers trying to make calls all at the same time.
When there is a large public emergency, such as an earthquake or other disaster, the volume of calls is going to be high. Just as people are most likely to be trying to call the emergency services or even loved ones to check on them or tell them that they themselves are OK is when a cell phone network is most likely to fail.
Without the strain of a large emergency the reliability of our cell phone networks has improved drastically over the years. This is in part because of a general improvement in the infrastructure, but also because of the lessons that the networks have learned and acted upon every time there was a major failure. But there are still signal weak spots.
In short the cell phone networks do not cover every inch of every state and that means that there are occasionally signal black spots. Where these occur you will not be able to make a call, or a call that does connect may rapidly fail. This can mean flat out that you have no ability to make a call, and if a paramedic is needed then this can have dire consequences.
There are other weaknesses when it comes to relying on cell phones in the case of an emergency. Battery life for a cell phone is limited, and with today’s smartphones they are more limited than ever. Many phones today will only run for around a day without being charged again. There is a very real risk that in the case of an emergency that your battery may be drained-if not on the first day, by day two if the situation is ongoing.
Portable chargers that create power by winding a handle, or by using a small solar panel can help overcome the battery weakness. But nothing can overcome the risks of dropping and breaking your phone, or of it being water damaged. In the case of a flood the risk of water destroying your phone becomes increasingly high.
Your cell phone is an essential tool for mobile communication. More than that, it has become in many ways a mobile computing advice, allowing you to check email, play media and games and even surf the web. But when it comes to being able to make emergency calls for both you and your family you should maintain a backup-a land line phone that even if it is never used for anything else, is there and available if you face an emergency.