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#188152 - 11/12/09 08:57 PM Verizon posts 7 cell phone tips for disasters
billvann Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 05/10/01
Posts: 780
Loc: NE Illinois, USA (42:19:08N 08...
Verizon's user forum had a nice short list of tips for earthquake victums that would work for any disaster scenario where you had to bug out of your home.

1. Know how to use call forwarding at home. If you have to evacuate, forward your home phone calls to your cell phone.
2. Conserve battery power and free-up wireless networks for emergency response agencies by limiting non-emergency calls.
3. Keep a car-charger in your vehicle in case you must evacuate.
4. Save emergency phone numbers in your cell phone for one-touch dialing.
5. Store back-up batteries for electronic devices, including your cell phone.
6. Consider using text messages to communicate.
7. Understand your cell phone’s capabilities: e-mail, weather updates and news reports are all tools that can help after a disaster.
_________________________
Willie Vannerson
McHenry, IL

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#188155 - 11/12/09 09:19 PM Re: Verizon posts 7 cell phone tips for disasters [Re: ]
NobodySpecial Offline
Member

Registered: 03/03/09
Posts: 197
Still amazing how few places let you send a sms (text message) to 911 / 999 / 112 etc.

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#188162 - 11/13/09 12:25 AM Re: Verizon posts 7 cell phone tips for disasters [Re: NobodySpecial]
Susan Offline
Geezer

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 5163
Loc: W. WA
"Still amazing how few places let you send a sms (text message) to 911 / 999 / 112 etc."

The technology doesn't exist at this time, I was told.

If the cell towers go down (like they did in Katrina), you won't be using cell phones anyway.

Sue

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#188173 - 11/13/09 02:52 AM Re: Verizon posts 7 cell phone tips for disasters [Re: Susan]
ajax Offline
Member

Registered: 10/19/09
Posts: 112
The FCC was going to mandate an 8hr minimum battery backup but the Bush Admin passed it off for further study.

Most carriers have provided some kind of emergency backup but there's no telling how long it will last.

I like the "using SMS" tip. Text messages use a fraction of the bandwidth that phone calls do. You will definitely have a better chance of getting a message out via SMS.
_________________________
Safety is something that happens between your ears, not something you hold in your hands.
- Jeff Cooper

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#188179 - 11/13/09 05:02 AM Re: Verizon posts 7 cell phone tips for disasters [Re: billvann]
JohnN Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 10/10/01
Posts: 966
Loc: Seattle, WA
Originally Posted By: billvann

5. Store back-up batteries for electronic devices, including your cell phone.


I've tried to standardize many of my small electronics to use USB charging.

For example, my cell phone, and iPod Touch (PDA basically) and GPS can all be charged via USB.

In addition, I found a USB charger that can charge my cell phone battery externally:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002MVQFMW

Then, I keep one of these lithium ion powered rechargeable battery packs in my bag:

http://www.tekkeon.com/products-tekcharge1800.html

And lastly, I keep a small USB power brick and auto USB power adapter in my bag.

This combination of standardization and set of options provides a fair amount of flexibility.

I can charge my phone from the lithium ion power pack on the go, I can use it to charge a cell battery externally while I'm using the phone.

I can do all these from a car or wall plug if available. The lithium ion pack even uses USB for charging so I can charge it from my wall or auto plugs.

Adding a portable solar panel with auto or USB output would further enhance this configuration.

All in all, a little planning can go a long way.

FWIW, I also found it is very helpful to be able to charge two devices at a time instead of just one. It is a worthwhile exercise IMO to try to go a couple of days with only the charging options you have with you.

-john


http://www.sendstation.com/us/products/pocketdock/lineout-miniusb.html
http://www.usbfever.com/index_eproduct_view.php?products_id=41
http://www.tekkeon.com/products-tekcharge1550.html
http://www.tekkeon.com/productcart/pc/viewPrd.asp?idcategory=11&idproduct=121
http://www.amazon.com/Brunton-Solaris-12-Solar-charger/dp/B0019OOTNK
http://www.amazon.com/Powerjolt-Dual-Universal-USB-Charger/dp/B001Q2FM5E
http://www.amazon.com/DLO-002-9981-PowerBug-Wall-Charger/dp/B000NOPA9E







Edited by JohnN (11/13/09 06:55 AM)

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#188191 - 11/13/09 11:21 AM Re: Verizon posts 7 cell phone tips for disasters [Re: JohnN]
Eugene Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/26/02
Posts: 2823
Only downside to stocking up on batteries like that is factoring in the replacement cost every few years. Since lithium ion loose some of their life (10-20%) each year you have to plan to relace every 2-3. Most people replace their cell phones that often anyway though.
I standardize everything on AA except things like call phones that can't be found that way. I replace the AA's around the 80% mark and with good quality ones get 9-10 years use.

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#188194 - 11/13/09 11:58 AM Re: Verizon posts 7 cell phone tips for disasters [Re: Susan]
Stoney Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 04/21/08
Posts: 55
Loc: Michigan
Minor clarification, the technology obviously exists its just not in place.

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#188195 - 11/13/09 12:10 PM Re: Verizon posts 7 cell phone tips for disasters [Re: ajax]
Desperado Offline
Veteran

Registered: 11/01/08
Posts: 1530
Loc: DFW, Texas
Originally Posted By: ajax
The FCC was going to mandate an 8hr minimum battery backup but the Bush Admin passed it off for further study.

Most carriers have provided some kind of emergency backup but there's no telling how long it will last.

I like the "using SMS" tip. Text messages use a fraction of the bandwidth that phone calls do. You will definitely have a better chance of getting a message out via SMS.


Assuming ( and we all know what that can do) that the carrier has been doing proper PM, the cell site should already have at least 8 hours back-up on battery. It is not a continuation of service issue for an emergency, but a continuation of revenue for the company.

Additionally, most carriers are in the process of adding/replacing generators at their sites. Some carriers have trailer mounted gensets that they move around as needed to keep the sites on the air.

As to 911 via SMS... Don't count on it. The 911 services want to TALK to the reporting party (RP). They often ask for more info than a text from the RP will provide, and can give FA/CPR instruction over the phone.

Any other cellular questions, just ask... It is what I do now (again).
_________________________
I do the things that I must, and really regret, are unfortunately necessary.

RIP OBG

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#188197 - 11/13/09 01:49 PM Re: Verizon posts 7 cell phone tips for disasters [Re: Desperado]
Eugene Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/26/02
Posts: 2823
I remember verizon's trailer generators from the big midwest blackout. They would drive to one location and charge the battery packs then move on to another and rotated though different sites keeping them all running.

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#188199 - 11/13/09 02:03 PM Re: Verizon posts 7 cell phone tips for disasters [Re: JohnN]
Stoney Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 04/21/08
Posts: 55
Loc: Michigan
Originally Posted By: JohnN
Originally Posted By: billvann

5. Store back-up batteries for electronic devices, including your cell phone.


I've tried to standardize many of my small electronics to use USB charging.

For example, my cell phone, and iPod Touch (PDA basically) and GPS can all be charged via USB.

In addition, I found a USB charger that can charge my cell phone battery externally:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002MVQFMW

Then, I keep one of these lithium ion powered rechargeable battery packs in my bag:

http://www.tekkeon.com/products-tekcharge1800.html

And lastly, I keep a small USB power brick and auto USB power adapter in my bag.

This combination of standardization and set of options provides a fair amount of flexibility.

I can charge my phone from the lithium ion power pack on the go, I can use it to charge a cell battery externally while I'm using the phone.

I can do all these from a car or wall plug if available. The lithium ion pack even uses USB for charging so I can charge it from my wall or auto plugs.

Adding a portable solar panel with auto or USB output would further enhance this configuration.

All in all, a little planning can go a long way.

FWIW, I also found it is very helpful to be able to charge two devices at a time instead of just one. It is a worthwhile exercise IMO to try to go a couple of days with only the charging options you have with you.

-john


http://www.sendstation.com/us/products/pocketdock/lineout-miniusb.html
http://www.usbfever.com/index_eproduct_view.php?products_id=41
http://www.tekkeon.com/products-tekcharge1550.html
http://www.tekkeon.com/productcart/pc/viewPrd.asp?idcategory=11&idproduct=121
http://www.amazon.com/Brunton-Solaris-12-Solar-charger/dp/B0019OOTNK
http://www.amazon.com/Powerjolt-Dual-Universal-USB-Charger/dp/B001Q2FM5E
http://www.amazon.com/DLO-002-9981-PowerBug-Wall-Charger/dp/B000NOPA9E



You might be interested in a recent purchase of mine from Radio Shack. Its an emergency crank radio with a solar panel and a USB jack for charging USB devices. Not sure the solar panel would charge a cell phone but cranking will work, though for the iPhone, and possibly other smart phones, you have to get the cranking speed just right. I might get a pick up and go phone to use with this for emergencies only.


Edited by Stoney (11/13/09 02:06 PM)
Edit Reason: removed repeated photos

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