9-1-1 is down... Now what?

What will you do when you dial 9-1-1 and nothing happens?  Several years ago much of Illinois and St. Louis (where I live) experienced the smallest rumblings of an earthquake.  At the epicenter near the far side of Illinois there was little damage and few injuries with the jolt measuring 5.4.  At least one 9-1-1 call center in Indiana was completely overwhelmed with calls and was offline for about 15 minutes.  It's possible that people with serious medical emergencies couldn't get the help they needed because 9-1-1 operators were answering calls of, "What was that?"

About 11:00 am today, Madison County Illinois 9-1-1 was unreachable, possibly due to a cut fiber optic cable.  And with today recording the 9th straight day with triple digit temperatures and no relief in sight, emergency medical calls are inevitable with heat and respiratory related emergencies.

Part of your preparedness should include alternate local phone numbers for emergency services like fire, police, ambulance and hospitals.  Post these near a phone, an exit, or in a conspicuous place in your home so that you can easily access them if you need them. Store them in your cell phone as well.

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