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Telephone tips

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Telephone Tips

In the event of an earthquake:

  • After the shaking stops, make sure all telephones are on the hook.
  • Do not use the telephone immediately, unless a life is at stake.
  • Listen to local radio or television reports to find out when it is clear to telephone relatives and friends.

911 service

In areas where 911 emergency service is available, bear in mind that the service is designed to respond to individual emergencies and although many redundancies are built into the 911 emergency system it may not operate or be able to handle the sudden surge of calls following a disaster.


We recommend that you keep the numbers for your local police, fire department, hospital and ambulance service by your telephone in case you are unable to reach a 911 operator.


Delayed or no dial tone/no service

If you must make a wireline call and there is no dial tone immediately, do not hang up and do not click the receiver button. Simply wait on the line for a few seconds for a dial tone. If you cannot wait, hang up and go to a pay phone or the nearest fire, police or ambulance station.


To check whether your telephone circuit is busy or has been destroyed, blow into the receiver mouthpiece. (For cordless phones, ensure you’ve pressed the talk button.) 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.


If you must make a wireless call and there is no signal or your signal strength is low, please move to another location where the signal strength is stronger.


Instead of calling on your wireless device, you may want to try text messaging or social media applications such as Facebook®.

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