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Disaster planning
frequently asked
questions

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FAQ

In the aftermath of a disaster, how long will it be before phone service returns to normal?


The timing will depend on the magnitude, location and nature of the disaster, and its impact on the community. In past earthquakes, telephone network congestion has been a problem as large numbers of people try to access the network in the time immediately after the earthquake. Most calls were easily completed after a short disruption.

 

How do you tell the difference between delayed dial tone and no service?


Blow into the receiver mouthpiece. (For cordless phones, ensure you've pressed the talk button.) If you can hear yourself in the earpiece, you have delayed dial tone. Do not hang up and do not click the receiver button. Wait on the phone for a few seconds for dial tone. If you cannot wait, hang up and go to a pay phone or the nearest fire, police or ambulance station. If you cannot hear yourself in the earpiece and your telephone is connected to the wall jack, the circuit may be out of service and you will have to try another phone - your wireless device, a neighbour's phone, or another phone in your home.

 

Can your call be dropped off the network if you take too long to dial after you get dial tone?


Yes. Once you get dial tone, if you take a long time to dial, your call can be dropped off the network so that other calls can be placed. We suggest you have the phone number written down by your phone so you will be ready to dial as soon as you get dial tone.

 

What can you do if your call has been dropped off the network and you need to use your telephone?


Hang up for about fifteen seconds and you will be able to use your telephone again.

Will people still have to use coins for pay phones following a disaster?


Pay phones will continue to accept the same forms of payment as they do now. If you have coins, we recommend using them as your first choice. If you do not have coins, you can place a call using a TELUS Calling Card™ or a prepaid phone card, but we anticipate that our operators will be busy and it will take some time to reach them. Any changes to normal business practice will be announced through the media.

Will long-distance calls be free?


We do not anticipate that long-distance calls will be free. Once again, any changes to normal business practice will be announced through the media.

 

What happens if I can't pick up signal strength on my wireless device?

If possible, change locations and try your wireless device again.

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