911 - Fail Feb. 25, 2011

911 System Storm Failure

This story from WUSA in Washington, D.C. looks at the weaknesses of the 911 system in the National Capital Region that were exposed in the Jan. 26th snow storm.

This is especially concerning for those who are completely on cell phone, with no land lines.  If the cellular system goes down, whether from natural disaster or terrorist attack, do you have an alternative method of communication?  I carry a CB in my truck.  We have these Midland radios around the house.  Neither of these is good for distance communication or contacting emergency services (around here, police used to monitor CB Ch. 40 in their cars - I doubt that many still do).

I have a good friend who is an avid amateur radio (HAM) radio user.  One of these days my wife and I need to learn how to use them and get our licenses.  I hope it doesn't hit the fan before we do.

What alternative communications methods do you plan to use?


  1. I have a CB in my truck specifically for this reason. I need to get either a CB base station or a ham radio for longer distance communications. I have been thinking about a portable ham in a pelican case along with a good CB radio so that I can have a mobile comm center for the house or if I need it to bug out. Great post.

  2. My buddy and his wife have HAM in their vehicles and a base station in the house. They also have a CB base station in the house. The base stations both go to a roof antenna and then to a marine battery with an inverter. He's looking at getting a small solar setup for the battery.


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