Michigan Cell Phones: Sometimes Useless When Needed Most

There are a number of things you can do to keep your family safe during emergency. As our smartphones become smarter and we humans become busier, we rely on these devices more and more to act as personal assistants. Cell phones are no longer used to just talk on the phone.


ACD’s CEO Kevin Schoen is presenting a report to the Michigan’s Police Chief’s Association detailing the challenges of using a cell phone during an emergency. His report will be released later this summer.

Many of the cell phone towers you see today are outdated. Due to the transition from wired to wireless, landlines have become near obsolete and a drastically increasing number of 911 calls are being made from cellular devices. During a crisis or a natural disaster, these outdated towers can only handle so many calls per second. In large cities or in buildings made of brick, decent cell reception is hardly ever even an option.

According to reports, in addition to the lack of capacity to handle an increase of calls during an emergency, many dispatchers don’t feel confident in their ability to pinpoint a patron who dials 911. Currently emergency dispatch centers are working with old equipment built for landlines. Locating a call from a wireless cellular device is a lot more difficult.

What can you do?

Smart 911 is a database where you can physically input your home address and emergency contact information. That website can be accessed here: https://www.smart911.com/. Dispatchers around the globe have access to this database so if they can’t find you, they know the first place to look.

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