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Posted: 4/29/2011 7:44:00 AM EDT
Link Posted: 4/29/2011 8:04:55 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/29/2011 8:05:18 AM EDT by Quarterbore]
Link Posted: 4/29/2011 8:20:39 AM EDT
Texting also tends to work better than voice calls when you're in a temporarily densely populated area.  For example at a football game, I'll have trouble making a call but texting works great.  
Link Posted: 4/29/2011 8:24:21 AM EDT
Link Posted: 4/29/2011 8:37:35 AM EDT
Link Posted: 4/29/2011 9:31:23 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Quarterbore:
I read the same thing in Japan. They could not make calls but they could text, e-mail, and even post on social sites like twitter and facebook. As someone that has disabled texting on our phones, I am strating to wonder if that might have been a bit of a mistake. I just got tired of paying for texts sent to us as we have no texting plan so I had AT&T block all text messages.

Not sure how long ago you negotiated your contract but it seems that lately the plans are giving away a bunch of text messages for free and even some carriers are doing the unlimited for free with bundles that cost the same as a bare bones contract a few years ago. They won't tell you the new and better plans unless you ask so you may want to call and see what they can do for you.
Link Posted: 4/29/2011 9:44:38 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/29/2011 9:53:52 AM EDT by YaNi05]
Originally Posted By Garand_Shooter:

I have been playing around with Twitter for a while now,a nd can see the huge potential it has as such a tool as long is it is up.

Texting, but to a wide audience...

Twitter or some kind of instant messaging would be a better option for SHTF. I have Verizon and they have excellent coverage outside of my house. I have very spotty cell coverage inside the house (due to aluminum foil house wrap) so texting is really the only option most of the time. I have found that you don't always get a reply sent instantly. If you don't have any service at the instant they send you a reply, the network saves the message in queue and will try sending it later. I have received messages 1 hour, 6 hours, and even 12 hours after they were sent. This happens when I am backpacking too. I can have 1-3 bars and not be able to make a call, but can still fire off a few texts at the top of the mountain, but I may not get a reply until I check a few hours later.

You can tell when it was sent because it will say at the end of your message:
Saved 12:01pm
Received 1:01pm

Some kind of instant messaging would ensure your communications would work, as long as you have service, with no worry of delays.
Link Posted: 4/29/2011 11:02:02 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Forest:
Originally I thought texting was stupid, why play on the keyboard when you can talk with them.  Eventually we discovered the day-to-day advantages.  Now this recent event has just confirmed what we saw on 9/11 (when there was no physical damage - just overloaded cell voice channels).

My wife and I found texting to be very useful, especially when one of us need the other to pick up a few things at the store (having a list of items you can read is easier than listening to a voicemail).

I can send the kids (T-mobil pay-as-you-go) a text message for less than it would cost to call them.

This is pretty much where I'm at. I don't sit and chat on it, but I don't need a phone call to set a time for lunch or figure out what needs to be picked up at the store. By texting it gives everyone some time to think about it and reply when they have a moment rather than having to figure it out right then.
I also remember after 9/11 and during/after Katrina that texting was MUCH better. It might take 20 minutes to an hour to come through, but it generally made it. We used it extensively to coordinate so we knew when someone was delayed or was going to need extra hands for something. It was out for about a day if I remember right, but was one of the first services to return with any kind of reliability.

I've got unlimited text and data, and share a fairly small number of minutes with my housemate. With mobile to mobile being free we pretty much don't use minutes anyway.
Link Posted: 4/29/2011 11:32:53 AM EDT
Same after Katrina.    For weeks.     No calls in our out, but I could text.  

Also I drove out far enough to get a good signal to check my 45 voice mails, and figured it would be a good idea to change my voice mail greeting to something along the lines of "Hey this is landraider.....  I'm OK, and XXYYZZ blhablha"

This put QUITE a few of my family, and friends minds at rest.   They quite literally did not know if I was dead, alive, homeless etc.
Link Posted: 4/29/2011 11:36:53 AM EDT
Link Posted: 4/29/2011 11:42:31 AM EDT
Two weeks ago in Jackson after the tornado text or phones didn't work.  even though it showed all bars on the phone.  All over the area.  My 2m radio was working however..
Link Posted: 4/29/2011 12:09:24 PM EDT
Originally Posted By YaNi05:
Twitter or some kind of instant messaging would be a better option for SHTF.

I don't know that I'd say it's better. It's just as unlikely to fail as voice communications.

Some kind of instant messaging would ensure your communications would work, as long as you have service, with no worry of delays.

SMS works because messages are sent over the control channel. As long as your phone knows there's a tower there it should (theoretically) be delivered. The odds of being able to still send text messages when you can't actually get a voice channel are pretty good.

One downside to SMS is that it isn't a guaranteed delivery mechanism. As you've mentioned delivery may also be delayed. I'd still rather rely on that than Twitter or FB which will run into similar issues as voice.
Link Posted: 4/29/2011 12:26:54 PM EDT
I use about 5000 texts per month and maybe an hour total of talk time.

Good to know this won't likely change come SHTF
Link Posted: 4/29/2011 3:03:23 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Forest:
Our office has several people working down in Huntsville.  After the recent storms we tried to contact them and where having problems.

Both Cell tower and Land lines were down.  However while Cell tower voice was down, Text messages are getting through.

Make sure you family knows how to text if cell phones are part of your emergency preparations.

This is true. During Ike, text worked fine in my area when voice was a no-go. Monitoring Ham 2 meter was the way to find open gas stations.
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