Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Fixed-lines and SHTF

My wife has a mid size air duct manufacturing company, which she manages along with her mother and sister.
It’s not a big company, but it has some heavy machinery, a large plant, and a steady work force of 20 employees.

The plant is located in one of the biggest industrial parks, near the docks and crime is pretty intense there.

One of the problems she’s facing these days is having a steady phone line for work, the way they manage most sales.

They currently have Nextel, but since Nextel refuses to install a battery backup system, they are left without phone whenever power goes down.

Here’s where every savvy survival minded person starts preaching about a landline.

We’ll, its not THAT secure, and not for the reasons you may be guessing.

You see, since there’s so much poverty in Argentina right now, people steal the telephone lines to sell the copper they are made of.

This happens often enough, maybe too often, and the telephone company decided to “fix” the problem, “Third Word” style.

By contract they must fix the lines, but since they don’t want to do it they claim that they have a 30-60 day waiting period because they are overwhelmed by these incidents.

Of course, no company can survive two months without phone, so they end up paying for the repairs themselves, paying the same people the phone company subsidizes the repairs to.

Now, there’s no knowing when the cables will be stolen next. You may end up paying for them several times a month.

So the only safe alternative is to have a wireless line.

I thought that this was pretty curious and I wouldn’t have imagine this problem in a million years, so I thought it was worth mentioning.

An escalation in the social unrest and poverty may leave you without a phone line permanently, just because there’s no way to secure them.



Ryan said...

Theres something small no matter how well a survivalist plans. If it isn't rice it is herbs. If its not rifle ammo its cue tips for cleaning.

I guess we are doing well if its just the small stuff.

Anonymous said...

People stealing phone lines for copper has happened to my father in Downtown Detroit, Michigan 3 times in the last 6 months. Vandals also steal the air conditioning coils out of the exterior units. It's getting to be an epidemic. It's amazing what people will steal if it has the smallest of value.

Anonymous said...


What do you use for a computer? A laptop or PC? What about when power goes out? When Internet access goes out?


FerFAL said...

Hi Lee,
I have a normal desktop PC.
Not much I can do when power goes down. I have cable modem, and it’s pretty solid. I’m rarely left without internet access.
Now that summer ended and high temps aren’t a problem anymore, there’s less power shortages.


Anonymous said...

This totally the problem we're having in Iraq...anything copper that doesn't have someone standing over it with a gun gets looted. We've probably replaced the entire electrical grid three times over...but the wires keep getting yanked down.

Phone lines were mostly buried, so that's not a major issue and rather than try to re-hab the late 1960s system, it's just easier to put in a wireless network.

Great stuff, THX for your time and effort.