Tuesday, November 13, 2012

My Cellphone and Sandy

When Superstorm Sandy roared into New Jersey, she took out one quarter of the cell towers in the area. As the storm moved away on Tuesday morning, I wanted to call my friends and family to let them know we were fine--and I wanted to know how they had weathered the storm, too.

Our landline phone did not work because the battery backup only lasts for a few hours and our power had gone off a little after 8 p.m. on Monday night, which meant no wireless as well. I had charged my cellphone before the power went off, but it had no bars--no signal at all--in fact, it had a little gray x in front of the gray bars of powerlessness. I could not call anyone and no one could call me.

What would I do if I needed help? My anxiety level went up. As I said in my previous post, this was one of the worst aspects of the experience for me. I was cut off. I did not know how those near and dear to me fared in the storm.

I discovered that my neighbor, who has a different cell phone provider, had service, which was good because she had a huge hole in her roof and truly needed help.

We were fine, but I learned not to rely on technology for communication after a terrible storm. I sure hope the cell phone companies build stronger cell towers in the future.

I still love my little smart phone--when it works, but this country needs to work on a better way to handle communications during a disaster.

5 comments:

Jacqueline D. Hopper said...

I can't imagine just how high your anxiety levels would have climbed. So glad to know you're safe now.

MarkD60 said...

After Ivan, we had no water for weeks and no power for months. At my apartment, there was no cell phone signal, but if I climbed up on the roof, I could get a signal and use it. But, you could hardly make a call, you'd get the "all circuits are busy" message and texting was the way to go.
SO: 1: Go climb up on your roof
2: send text messages

Penelope Marzec said...

Mark,

Just before the hurricane I had read a short article that said very often a text is a lot easier to get through when all the circuits are busy.

I was able to send a text on Wednesday. But by then Daughter #1 was able to get to work--where she had heat and lights and wifi. She sent messages to everyone.

I don't think I'll be climbing up on the roof. I never liked heights. :^)

Kim Jackson said...

I can't even imagine how frightening it must have been being in the storm. I know we are thankful that you and your family are okay.

Penelope Marzec said...

Kim,

Thanks, but we were very fortunate. The families close to the water are the ones who are suffering. Many of them are now homeless. :^(