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#233982 - 10/19/11 03:38 PM Re: Most Reliable Communication Means, Emergency [Re: ireckon]
ireckon Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/01/10
Posts: 1629
Loc: Northern California
I had that same Palm for a long time, a great device.

As for POTS, I'd like to highlight what you've already said. You have a POTS phone pictured, but it's VOIP service (not POTS service). You did mention you could dial-up on a POTS service, but do you keep your POTS service active? I don't. The monthly fee is too much for my budget. I'll take the risk. By the way, if my cable service stays up, then that means I (probably) have Internet on my computer, along with VOIP.

What I don't see in your pic is a battery backup (which you probably have). As you know, that phone system does not work without power. My battery backup has kept my VOIP system running flawlessly during power outages.
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#233984 - 10/19/11 05:11 PM Re: Most Reliable Communication Means, Emergency [Re: ireckon]
Pete Offline
Veteran

Registered: 02/20/09
Posts: 1372
In a major emergency ... cell phones out, cables cut, repeaters down, internet down. A LOT of citizens are going to be feeling very uncomfortable in that situation. Suddenly our "wired-in" world is completely gone.

One important aspect ... is just to have a few simple emergency messaging procedures. I just went thru this with my 8-year old in L.A. In a major disaster, if the kids at school need to leave the schoolyard for some reason, she knows to take an index card out of her backpack, write a simple message about where people are going, and pin it to the wire netting fence near the main gate. Same thing goes for our family - we have a few designated spots to pin messages in our local neighborhood. Just hand written notes.

The best backups are usually simple ideas.

Pete2


Edited by Pete (10/19/11 05:13 PM)

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#233986 - 10/19/11 05:54 PM Re: Most Reliable Communication Means, Emergency [Re: Pete]
Am_Fear_Liath_Mor Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/03/07
Posts: 3078
Quote:
In a major emergency ... cell phones out, cables cut, repeaters down, internet down. A LOT of citizens are going to be feeling very uncomfortable in that situation. Suddenly our "wired-in" world is completely gone.


They should learn to chill out a little. Chances are even when the emergency is over, folks won't really get to the bottom of what really happened anyway in a major emergency so attempting/wishing/praying they knew what was happening in real time is all rather pointless. Yesterdays news is just todays fish and chip wrapping paper (well it used to be before the health and safety crowd deemed it unsafe wink ).

All this 'wired in' culture just means greater panic for the public when they lose their means of electronic communication. I've heard enough panic down the end of a phone when their Internet connection goes down, but they seem to calm down a little when you ask them what they would have done 10-15 years ago. Just get them to go down to the pub like they did in the past. All this Internet nonsense is just leading to a nation of stressed out moaning faced idiots, who can't even tie their own shoe laces without having to look it up on Google.




Edited by Am_Fear_Liath_Mor (10/19/11 05:55 PM)

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#233987 - 10/19/11 06:13 PM Re: Most Reliable Communication Means, Emergency [Re: Pete]
Arney Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/15/05
Posts: 2485
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: Pete
I just went thru this with my 8-year old in L.A....write a simple message about where people are going, and pin it to the wire netting fence near the main gate.

That's a great plan. (Do kids still write on paper nowadays? wink )

Another option that bypasses the whole communications thing is just tell people that chances are you won't be able to get in touch. If a major quake strikes, everyone wants to know instantly if other people are OK.

I just tell certain loved ones that depending on what time it happens and how much damage there might be, if there is every a major quake, it will probably be tomorrow by the time I walk home from work so don't worry if you don't hear from me for a while. Easier said than done, but at least they know that's my plan.

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#233989 - 10/19/11 06:16 PM Re: Most Reliable Communication Means, Emergency [Re: ireckon]
ireckon Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/01/10
Posts: 1629
Loc: Northern California
Below is my simple, inexpensive, reliable radio for staying connected. It's only incoming communication AM/FM. I have fancier devices, but I'll put my money on this device being near me and working when it matters.


http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3705831
(no affiliation)
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#233990 - 10/19/11 06:27 PM Re: Most Reliable Communication Means, Emergency [Re: Arney]
Mark_R Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 05/29/10
Posts: 853
Loc: Southern California
Originally Posted By: Arney
Originally Posted By: ireckon
Pagers!

As a historical point, that's interesting. But I don't think that's a very practical suggestion going forward.

I was a big fan of pagers and kept using a numeric pager as my main personal mobile point of contact while I lived in NYC long after most of my friends got mobile phones, but let's not forget the era when 9/11 happened. Even I had switched to a mobile phone when 9/11 happened.

Mobile networks weren't quite as well built out at that point and therefore had fewer towers and less overall capacity. Text messaging was still a rarity back then. I used Voicestream (which later became T-Mobile), which was the only GSM carrier and could do SMS natively. Europeans were already texting like crazy back then on their mobile phones but not Americans.

I don't recall if the analog, TDMA, and CDMA carriers like AT&T and Sprint could even do text messaging back then. Two-way pagers were popular, especially with the youth market. Oh, and Nextel was still big back then, and push-to-talk was all the rage among a mostly blue collar set.

There was also still a large pager transmitting network in place at that time. Many of those companies are gone now and I'm sure many of those transmitters are also gone. Motorola doesn't even make pagers anymore.

So, times have changed. I'm afraid that the pager infrastructure is not as robust as it once was. I did appreciate that a pager signal would reach me even when I would be in the bowels of old concrete and steel NYC skyscrapers while everyone with a mobile phone could not get a signal at all on their cell phones.


My experiences were similiar to yours. I stayed with the pager and phone card as long as possible. But, three consecutive providers closed shop without telling me (I was buying a year's services in one lump transaction). When most of the pay phones were removed, I was left with no choice but to switch to cell phones.

Pagers may be out, but SMS has proven reliable during the wildfires in 2007 and the blackout last month. You couldn't talk to someone, but you could get a text through. Battery life on my cell phone is 4-7 days depending on use and if I leave it on at night.

AFLM, Will your setup continue to work with no power? During last months power outages, cordless phone, or anything requiring power from the grid, stopped working.

EDIT: Ireckon, I've got something similiar with ear buds for reduced power consumtion. It's the best choice for situation updates as the emergency radio stations have to stay up.


Edited by Mark_R (10/19/11 06:31 PM)
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#233992 - 10/19/11 06:44 PM Re: Most Reliable Communication Means, Emergency [Re: Mark_R]
Am_Fear_Liath_Mor Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/03/07
Posts: 3078

Quote:
AFLM, Will your setup continue to work with no power? During last months power outages, cordless phone, or anything requiring power from the grid, stopped working.



The SLA battery in the Belkin UPS should be able to power the Router and Modem for about 5-6 hrs continuously. It would be relatively easy to rig up a 30W solar panel/Portable 40Ahr 12V SLA battery/charge controller and a programmable DC-DC power regulator, which is kept in the same room to power a Hi-Fi.

http://forums.equipped.org/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=175102

Internet access would be available using an Archos media player.

If this all fails then its time to go down the pub. whistle

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#233994 - 10/19/11 06:50 PM Re: Most Reliable Communication Means, Emergency [Re: Am_Fear_Liath_Mor]
Mark_R Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 05/29/10
Posts: 853
Loc: Southern California
Originally Posted By: Am_Fear_Liath_Mor


If this all fails then its time to go down the pub. whistle




Drinking warm beer on Hadrian's wall? whistle
_________________________
Hope for the best and prepare for the worst.

The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane

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#233995 - 10/19/11 07:04 PM Re: Most Reliable Communication Means, Emergency [Re: ireckon]
Am_Fear_Liath_Mor Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/03/07
Posts: 3078

Quote:
You have a POTS phone pictured, but it's VOIP service (not POTS service). You did mention you could dial-up on a POTS service, but do you keep your POTS service active? I don't.


Yes I keep the POTS service for around $18/month. The basic broadband service (Virgin Media) is for 10Mb/s @ $18/month (100Mb/s is available @ approx $50/month but this is a little more than I need) although I should perhaps get the free Broadband service from the telecoms company I work for as they have recently upgraded to BT infinity in my area, which is a fibre service at around 30Mb/s.

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#233999 - 10/19/11 07:24 PM Re: Most Reliable Communication Means, Emergency [Re: ireckon]
MDinana Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/08/07
Posts: 2186
Loc: Bluegrass
Originally Posted By: ireckon
I can see how pagers can be the most reliable means of communication for the average person walking around away from home. A pager is easy to EDC and the battery lasts for months, not days or hours. A pager takes a cell phone's most reliable communication means (text/email/SMS) and specializes in those departments in a device that is more rugged than a cell phone. A pager has no congestion issues. It just needs a quick burst of connectivity. Of course, the recipient needs to be communicating with text/email/SMS.

On the mountains I snowboard, I think I'll try communicating with pagers. Walkie Talkies are usually worthless.

Depends how busy you are. As an intern, I was going through batteries every 2-3 weeks. I was extremely tempted to put that little piece of ... plastic ... on a clay pigeon launcher on the last day of intern year and blast away with some #7 birdshot.

I assume the report is talking about 2-way pagers? Otherwise, access to internet/text/phone service to actually send a page is the rate-limiting step.

Yes, I realize someone already pointed this out.

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