Like many people of our generation, Better Half and I do not maintain a landline – any verbal communication we want to handle can be done by way of cell phones, and the added cost simply did not make sense to us. However, our cell phones have a habit of spending the night wherever we happened to leave them, or attached to whatever outlet we plugged them into, and that is not always in our bedroom. Should someone break into our house, our alarm system’s first response is to call our monitoring company, and the police, automatically, but in any other circumstances, it is entirely possible for us to need a connection to the outside world but be unable to get to our phones – a fire, some sort of catastrophic storm, etc.
Well, there is good news – per federal regulations, all cell phones, even ones that no longer have a service contract, must be able to dial 911, and if there is one thing people of my generation have, it is spare cell phones:
A random power outlet in a bedroom closet, a digital timer set to turn on one hour every day (to keep the phone from turning into an energy vampire – we found the mechanical ones to be too noisy at night), and an old cell phone left off but still plugged in – with just those bits and pieces, we have an emergency lifeline should we ever need it.
Hopefully you will never need to call the authorities in the middle of the night, but if you do, it is always better to have the ability to do so in a known place not far from your bed, rather than trying to figure out where you left that damned electronic leash the evening before…