Why a cell booster matters in an emergency

It seems like the wild weather isn’t going away anytime soon. If it’s not snowing or raining, it’s tornado time. And let’s not even think about how Southern California is due for another big earthquake… it’s been 25 years since the last “big one.” We may have no defense against the weather but we do have some defense against being stranded… a good cell phone and a booster.

Forget about land lines

Back in 2014, we learned a lesson from Superstorm Sandy… land lines are no longer the top priority. Some areas of Manhattan were without them for weeks. In heavily populated areas it can take a long time to find and fix 100-year-old copper lines or replace them with fiber. On the other hand, cell service was back up in New York City as soon as there was power to run the cell sites.

In the last five years, we’ve seen people abandoning land lines in record numbers. Those who still use the technology have been moved over to fiber by their phone companies. Fiber to the home means faster internet and better service, but it also means that land lines don’t work if the power goes out. The typical optical network terminal will only let the land line work for about 6 hours once the power goes out. Older phone systems powered phones from a central office; fiber-based systems don’t.

A cell booster works when you have power, stays out of the way when you don’t.

If you have power at home, a cell booster will give you priority access to the rest of the world. It’s not just voice service, it’s data service too and in many ways that’s more important. When the power is off, a cell booster won’t stop your phone from working, unlike a microcell or other technologies. You’ll get the best possible service while the power is out and as soon as you get power (or as soon as you can hook up a generator) that booster will become your safety line.

Get one for your car too.

A cell booster in the home and another in the car are a great way to make sure you’re equipped for emergencies. In case of heavy weather. phone lines may snap or the power grid may go down near you. With a cell booster you have a chance of getting to a cell that’s further away and communicating that way in the case of an emergency. A home cell booster can run off a generator if phone lines and power lines are down, and a car-based booster takes hardly any energy to run but could help authorities find you if you’re snowed or rained in.

If you don’t have power at home, a cell booster in the car could be an important link to critical first responders. The car’s cell booster will work even if power is out in the house, and you may be able to drive to where cell service is a little better.

If you don’t know what booster you need, we have an easy-to-understand form you can fill out to get a recommendation from our professionals. Cell boosters don’t cost anything at all to run if you don’t use them, but the chances are if you have a booster you’ll want to use it full-time… there are very few people who really have fantastic service inside the house and there’s no one who hasn’t dropped a call while driving.

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 6,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.