It is important to know that different services (for example, traditional wireline phone, wireless, or VoIP provided over telephone or cable companies’ network) have different capabilities in emergencies or power outages. If you do not know what type of service you have, contact your provider.

For all services, it is important to keep a hard copy list of your important contacts. If you communicate via the telephone network during an emergency, limit non-emergency calls, particularly if you are using a wireless device. Convey only vital information to emergency personnel and/or family members.


During a power outage, traditional landline service that runs over a copper network generally will continue to operate. However, phone service over a fiber network (from your cable company or Verizon FiOS) will not and requires battery to continue operating during an outage.


Many companies offer voice telephone service using VoIP technology known as Digital Voice service. NOTE: Always inquire with your provider about the type of voice service you have, and any differences from traditional telephone service. If you have any questions about your ability to dial 911 using your VoIP service, please contact your VoIP provider.


Most payphones connect to the traditional landline network and therefore will operate in the event of a power outage. Consider keeping a prepaid phone card available, particularly if you do not own a wireless phone, in order to ensure you are able to make calls over a payphone if necessary.


Jack, and Skype rely on an internet connection to process calls. You may not be able to make a call using these services during a power outage.