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Old November 17th, 2010, 04:44 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Emergency Scenarios With No Signal

Ive looked all day and cant find an answer. If you are stranded in a remote area with absolutely no coverage can you use gps to send your coordinates to rescuers? If so, how is it done? If not, why cant it be done?

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Old November 17th, 2010, 04:49 PM   #2 (permalink)
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It is my understanding that even if you don't have coverage, you can still dial 9-1-1 on your cell phone & connect to the nearest station. Please correct this if this is wrong.

A few years ago I worked for the Dept on Aging & we had a program where we collected used cell phones to give out to senior citizens so they could call 9-1-1 no matter where they were.
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Old November 17th, 2010, 04:56 PM   #3 (permalink)
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If there is absolutely no cell signal from any carrier I dont think you can.
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Old November 17th, 2010, 05:00 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by pantlesspenguin View Post
It is my understanding that even if you don't have coverage, you can still dial 9-1-1 on your cell phone & connect to the nearest station. Please correct this if this is wrong.

A few years ago I worked for the Dept on Aging & we had a program where we collected used cell phones to give out to senior citizens so they could call 9-1-1 no matter where they were.
This depends on how you define coverage. You can call 911 on any cell phone regardless of whether you have a service contract or not. If you can't get a cell signal, you can't call no matter what you do.

For example, let's say I stop paying my bill and VZW cuts off my phone. I can still call 911 on my phone. No matter what, as long as I can get a cell phone signal, I can call 911 on my phone. I can't call anyone else, but I can call 911. However, if I'm out in backwater Montana and there isn't a cell tower within 70 miles and I can't get a signal, I can't call 911 no matter how current I am on my bill. There's just no physical way to make a call.
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Old November 17th, 2010, 06:48 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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It is my understanding that even if you don't have coverage, you can still dial 9-1-1 on your cell phone & connect to the nearest station. Please correct this if this is wrong.
Replace "coverage" with a "cell phone plan" and you are correct. Phones without a plan can still call 911.

However, if you do not have a cell signal, there is NO WAY to transmit your gps coordinates to rescuers. You can still get a gps signal and see where you are, but there would be NO WAY to send it to anyone.
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Old November 18th, 2010, 08:11 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by etimmy22 View Post
If you are stranded in a remote area with absolutely no coverage can you use gps to send your coordinates to rescuers? If so, how is it done? If not, why cant it be done?
You can use GPS to obtain your coordinates but you can't send anything via GPS. The device is a GPS receiver. You can't transmit to the GPS satellites and the satellites aren't designed for such communications anyway.

In such cases you need to work out an alternate method suitable for contacting emergency services.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pantlesspenguin View Post
It is my understanding that even if you don't have coverage, you can still dial 9-1-1 on your cell phone & connect to the nearest station. Please correct this if this is wrong.
How would it connect with no coverage? I think you're thinking of emergency cell phone calls with no cell service from a carrier. Those will go through but you still have to have cell coverage. There's no backup 911 radio and even it would have a limitation to its range if it existed.
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