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16 November 2008 @ 10:49 am
Why You Keep A Land Line  
This is particularly pertinent for people who live in mountainous/rural areas, but is good to know in general.

My friend Jan pointed out why you should always keep a land line: cell phones don't get Reverse 911 warnings. This system is used to alert people within a specific geographic area that they need to evacuate. It calls land lines only, not cell phones. Cell phones are not a reliable indicator of geographic location.

One of the reasons many people affected by the Tea Fire got out with only the clothes on their backs is because many of them didn't have land lines, only cell phones. So their first warning that there was a problem came when they looked out the window and saw the hillside opposite them enveloped in flames.
dynamite with a laser beamoberstein on November 16th, 2008 11:46 pm (UTC)
This was an issue during the fires in San Diego last year as well. There was talk of getting your cell phone number registered for the Reverse 911 system, but I don't know if it actually went through or if other areas adopted it. Looks like the people affected by the Tea Fire weren't...
Taerieltaeriel on November 18th, 2008 06:44 am (UTC)
I'd heard something about this. In Santa Cruz County they have a sign-up list to add your cellphone to the reverse-911 list, but I haven't yet come across one for Santa Clara county. From one article I read, it sounds like they're in the process of setting it up for Santa Clara County, but don't have it yet, and cellphones will come a bit even later...?