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Feds handing out special emergency phone cards

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  • Feds handing out special emergency phone cards

    OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - Special calling cards are being handed out
    that ensure critical communications continue despite congested
    phone lines after a terrorist attack or natural disaster, a federal
    official told utility regulators from 15 states.
    Kenneth Moran, director of defense and security for the Federal
    Communications Commission, spoke about the cards at a conference of
    state utility regulators Monday.
    Federal programs have been set up to ensure that federal and
    state government agencies, fire and police departments, the largest
    national banks, and public utilities can communicate without delays
    during emergencies, Moran said.
    Included is the distribution of special calling cards, which
    will prioritize any calls made by using the special numbers on
    them.
    Any qualifying group can contact the National Communications
    System - part of the Department of Homeland Security - to request
    the cards, which have been distributed since 1995. Each card is
    issued to an individual, with a name printed on it.
    "You go to NCS, you tell them who you are and what you do, and
    the NCS will say 'yes' or 'no,"' Moran said.
    Groups can also request a special activation feature for cell
    phones to be used with a code during congestion of cell-phone
    networks after disasters.
    Phone networks often become clogged during times of disasters.
    On Sept. 11, 2001, AT&T's national long-distance, land-line traffic
    was twice as much as it ever had before in a single day, Moran
    said.
    The cellular activation feature is available only on T-Mobile
    networks now but will expand to five other carriers in the next two
    years, including Cingular and Sprint.
    Another program, started in the late 1980s, allows groups to
    request the National Communications System to identify certain
    phone numbers as priority lines. Phone companies will restore these
    lines first in the event of a disaster that causes an outage.
    The states represented at the regulatory conference were
    Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota,
    Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota,
    Texas and Wisconsin.
    ----
    On The Net:
    Federal Communications Commission: http://www.fcc.gov
    National Communications System: http://www.ncs.gov



    (Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
    Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
    Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

    *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
    On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

  • #2
    Figures Nextel (since it is used by most Emergency Service Depts) would not be listed as one of the cell phone companies with this capability

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    • #3
      Originally posted by engine23ccvfd
      Figures Nextel (since it is used by most Emergency Service Depts) would not be listed as one of the cell phone companies with this capability
      Took the words right of my mouth!

      Comment

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