Using a Cell Phone for Emergencies

December 17, 2010

Older Cell Phone Dialing 911I have an elderly mother who likes to work in her garden, often when I'm not at home. Rather than have her carry an awkward portable phone outside for emergencies, I wanted to buy her an economical cell phone, but was annoyed with all the charges and limitations.


Then it dawned on me, when I saw a $10 LG/NetOne phone at a local store. It will allow 9-1-1 calls without any prepaid or contract plans. [All mobiles do, I believe]. So, I bought it for her, and should she fall or hurt herself, she can call for help. Now I don't worry so much about her being on her own. And it's very small and simple to use.

By Karen Roberts from Central California

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December 17, 20100 found this helpful
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You are correct. All cellular phones will work when 911 is dialed whether there is a plan/carrier for the phone or not. The trick is to keep it charged. An old cell phone is good to keep in a car as well with a lighter charger. That way if you have trouble and haven't used the phone in a while (its dead) it can be charged fairly quickly and used while it is charging to call for help.

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September 30, 2011

I have a Tracfone cell phone and have it with me most of the time, especially when I am by myself. To me, it's like insurance. I seldom use it, but it's comforting to know I have it if I need it.

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March 1, 2017

Do you only want a cell phone in case you need to call 911, or only want a child to be able to call 911? You don't need to buy and activate a new phone for 911 service.


Any digital cell phone will call 911, even if it's an older one that no longer is on your plan. Just make sure it is charged.

Unactivated Cell Phones for 911 - cell phone being charges

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January 2, 2014

This page contains telephone tips and tricks. Phones can suffer some abuse and do get dirty. There are ways to help keep it functioning well for your household.

Man Using Telephone

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

July 9, 2010

My daughter is 9 and has wanted a cell phone. I made a compromise. I gave her my old phone, which does not have a contract attached to it.

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