22 April 2024

“Just Call 911” They Say

The don't say what you should do when you can't dial 911. 911 outage reported across multiple US states, officials say

Several U.S. states experienced a 911 emergency services outage late on Wednesday, including the entire state of South Dakota and portions of Nevada, Texas, and Nebraska, according to local officials.

It was not immediately clear what was causing the outages.

Calling 911 is a fine thing to do. Better hope that system never goes down, or your someplace where you can't call 911, or your phone didn't get destroyed, or ...

So what caused the outage? Company with $36 million SD 911 contract says outage caused by Missouri light pole installation

A 911 outage affecting hundreds of calls for emergency services throughout South Dakota on Wednesday night was caused by a company installing a light pole in Kansas City, Missouri, according to South Dakota’s 911 telecommunications provider Lumen, formerly known as CenturyLink.

They are not providing details, so all I can do is guess, but I would guess that someone installing the light pole cut a cable while digging. That the 911 systems for 4 states can collectively have such an obvious single point of failure just reinforces something I've been saying for a long time. No one does proper systems design anymore.

Hat tip to Cam Edwards at Bearing Arms: What Happens When You Can't Dial 911?

"You don't need a gun. Just call 911."

I've lost track of how many times I've heard a gun control activist say something along those lines over the years. But what happens when calling 911 isn't an option?


  1. I have the direct line to the local cops and fire department written down. Mostly so I can call with non-emergency matters, but it'll work if 911 goes down.

    1. That's good advice, and it works when you're at home - or local anyway.

      One of the reasons given - way back in the dark ages when the 911 system was being built - was that people do tend to travel more than 10 minutes from home. They go visit relatives, or to the beach or wherever.


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