During recent years, cell phones have become a daily necessity. Portability and convenience are top priority and smart phones have come to replace phone books, computers and maps in our on-the-go lifestyle.

What did we ever do without them? Well, we had conventional landline phones that stayed inside our homes. But the value of landlines has been called into question as cell phone popularity climbs.

Many families have been dropping their landline telephones in favor of a family cell phone plan. "The landline is too expensive" and "everyone in the family has their own number anyway" are common reasons for getting rid of the landline. So if everyone has a cell phone, we can all be in touch in emergencies, right? Wrong!

Your cell phone is only as useful as its power - both in its battery and service through your carrier. Natural disasters have shown us time after time that cell phone towers are not invincible. Hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires, and floods can damage and even destroy them, making cell phones completely useless. Also, in the United States, there is no requirement for cell phone companies to have systems to keep them online (including the towers) when the electricity goes out. Although some towers may have limited backup power ability, they are not required to do so.

Cell phone towers can also get crowded and deny others the ability to make calls, which would likely happen in an emergency. Landlines, however, can be used in the same situations and they work fine.

Power outages can last anywhere from a few minutes to a few weeks. If you have a landline, always have a least one corded phone that will work when the power is out. In these conditions, you will most likely be unable to charge a cell phone; so your smart phone will last as long as its battery, assuming that its tower is even functional. Of course, if you have the Wavelength™ or the Charger™, you can charge your phone when the power is out. But remember that many of the cell towers may be incapacitated.

Cell phones are great tools for calling for help if your car breaks down or sending texts to announce the new baby. But for natural disasters, it's best to have a landline phone. They are much more reliable in extreme situations and do not need to be charged. Plus, the service costs less per month than a night out to dinner and a movie!

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