The frightening stories of California’s man-made disaster or “preventative power outages,” just keep coming in. The LA Times recently interviewed Ted Atz, a 75-year-old from Marin County who lost power for four days.
Atz was unable to call his family or even 911. He wasn’t the only one in that terrible situation. Leila Miller and Rong-gong Il report:
California saw significant interruptions of cellphone service due to the planned power shut-offs at precisely the time customers needed to be alerted about evacuation warnings — raising questions about how prepared California is for future electric shut-offs and other public safety emergencies, such as a major earthquake.
At one point, Marin County saw 57% of its 280 cellphone tower sites out of service. Other counties also saw major disruptions: Sonoma, Lake, Santa Cruz, Humboldt and Calaveras all encountered days in which more than 20% of cellphone towers were out; Napa County saw a day when 19% of cell towers were not working, according to data released by the Federal Communications Commission.
In the central Bay Area, San Mateo and Contra Costa counties saw more than 11% of cell towers fail to work.
The saddest part of this story is that with a little preparation, these Californians could have avoided the danger and isolation of such a communication breakdown.
I’ve written before about why you definitely need a satellite phone. There’s simply no substitute for the range you get from a satellite phone. Out at sea, or deep in the mountains, you have a direct line of communication to the people you love, or emergency responders if you need them.
With the unpredictability of wildfires and the Medieval response by electric utilities of shutting down power with little warning, Californians should be seriously considering their ability to rely on themselves.
While generators, water, extra food, and an evacuation plan are all important, reliable communications in the form of a satellite phone are just as important, if not more so.
Read more from the Department of Homeland Security about satellite phones below:Satellite-Phones-TN_0615-508_0
E.J. Smith - Your Survival Guy
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