Tuesday, July 29, 2008

LA Earthquake: Emergency Communication Advice

This morning my younger daughter got a big surprise for her 25th birthday today – a 5.8 earthquake in Los Angeles. After we stood under a door frame (the old earthquake advice but possibly not the new earthquake advice), we both got on Twitter and tweeted the news.

One person who also tweeted update info was John Taylor, senior manager, public affairs at Sprint Nextel Corp. Below I’ve combined some of the individual tweets he sent after the earthquake with helpful advice about communicating with people in LA:

Can’t use your cell phone in LA post-quake? Don’t assume your cell carrier is at fault. Often landlines are out, which blocks wireless calls.

Just heard that Sprint and Nextel networks are okay in LA, but local telecom AT&T is getting swamped, which would block all wireless carriers.

In addition to Nextel Direct Connect, which bypasses AT&T and other landline networks, try text messaging to get through to loved ones in LA.

Also try Direct Talk. Like Direct Connect, but allows you to walkie-talkie independent of Nextel up to six miles. New Orleans PD used it during Katrina.

To ensure that public safety can use AT&T’s network, email or text people in LA instead. Let fire and police help those in need.

Great blog post by LA Fire Dept on what to do in quake aftermath. Stay off phones so public safety can use lines. http://tinyurl.com/6m46os

AP reports that California Office of Emergency Services has asked SoCal residents to stop land and cell phone use. http://tinyurl.com/6nufjt

Thanks, John, for all your helpful advice today.

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