Cut the Cord, or Not? In an Emergency a Landline can Save Your Life


In today’s society it’s no secret that with cellular phones, landlines and wireless home phones have become a thing of the past. With a struggling economy, most families have chosen their cellular phones as their main method of communication, and have “cut the cord,” cancelingВ their home phone service. Cellular service has changed the face of communication, but before you make the decision to disconnect your landline, you may want to consider power outages and natural disasters first.

I was born a child of the technology generation, and rarely will you find me without my smart phone plastered to my side (though it pains me to admit it), but during a power outage my cell phone was not there when I needed it most. I, like many other grandchildren, have the most adoring grandmother, and when something goes wrong I instantly call her to see how she is. During this specific power outage, the rain had not stoppped for almost three hours, and the high winds were making me wonder if we hadn’t been transported to the Land of OZ. After twenty minutes sitting in the failing light, and still no power, I decided it was time to call grandma and make sure she was ok. I picked up my cell phone, dialed her number and was shocked when my call would not go through. The onlyВ explanationВ given was, “all circuits are busy at this time.”

How could all circuits be busy when I needed to get a hold of my grandmother who doesn’t live conveniently next door, but a few towns away? Then I remembered that thing of the past connected in my hallway: the landline phone. Although still without power, I was able to call my dear granny and discover that the power was still on at her house and she was fine. I owe a peaceful night’s sleep to that landline, and my case may seem trivial, but it makes you wonder how will you contact those you love during an emergency?

After further research I found that cellular phones may be great to keep on hand when away from home. However, in the case of power outages and natural disasters, they are not a reliable source.

Here are the top 15 reasons to keep your landline phone:

1. Emergencies (911): You will receive a quicker response if you have to call 911. You will not only be easily located, but also more specifically located than if you called 911 from your cellphone. What if you were choking, having a stroke or heart attack and could not speak to give directions over the phone? Simply calling 911 from your landline will get you the most accurate and quickest response. Did you know that if you lived in a multi-floor apartment building such as in the bigger cities, a landline call to 911 will display the physical address and the apartment number? A cellphone call will not. So even if the call gives the general location from your cell, it will not show what floor you are on. That can be a real problem if you are in need of medical assistance ASAP.

2. Power outages: Landline phones have proven to be the most reliable in a power outage. Make sure you have an old-fashioned corded phone to plug in.

3. During and after disasters: Landlines have also proven more reliable during and after natural disasters than mobile devices. When a natural disaster or a nationwide emergency occurs, many people use their cellphones to call and check in on loved ones, so if they are able to receive cell tower service, the service will soon be bombarded with calls and the chances of you getting through will become slimmer as the event rolls on.

4. Security: Hackers cannot gain access to conversations on a landline, while cellphone conversations can be easily accessed.

5. Better quality: With all the advances in phone technology, the landline still has better sound quality than a cellphone. Some cellphones, like mine, have this awful delay when talking, so that by the time the person on the other line hears my voice, it sounds as if I am interrupting their conversation.

6. Alarm systems: Most security alarm systems require that you have a home phone to connect to.

7. No charging batteries: You do not have to charge any batteries with a landline phone, and if your power is out for awhile, you will not be able to charge your portable cordless phones, either.

8. No dropped calls: Have you ever been in the middle of telling a great story and your call was dropped, without you even hearing it? Now, you wonder, how much of the story did the person on the other end actually hear? More importantly, how much do you have to repeat?

9. Private conversations: Cellphone conversations are sent through waves and it is more possible for someone to hear your private conversations, as well as with a cordless phone. However, your trusty landline conversations are sent though cable, making it harder to break through a call.

10. Faxing capabilities: If you are used to faxing from your home, you must have a landline connection.

11. Baby-sitter does not have a cell phone: If your baby-sitter does not have a cellphone (yes, it is possible) or, if their cellphone battery has run down, how is she/he going to call you or 911 if there is an emergency? Better yet, how are you going to call to check in on your precious one(s)?

12. В Collect calls can only be received to a landline phone: You may think you may never need to receive a collect call, but what if your kids call from school or adult children from out of town, or maybe a family member is traveling and has an emergency? You just never know.

13. Peace of mind: Cell service, no matter how advanced, is not as reliable as a landline.

14. Always there when you need it: Have you ever misplaced you cellphone (If you’re me, that’s every five minutes)? In an emergency, time is of the essence. A landline phone is always in the same place.

15. Green and healthy: Landlines have no toxic batteries and are especially safe for kids and the pregnant.

So there you have it, the most probable answer when deciding whether to keep your landline or your cellphone is, keep both. You can never be too prepared when there is an emergency.


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