What to Do With Your Old Cell Phones

April 24, 2014 | By | Comments (3)

call-blackberry_300If you’ve purchased a new phone and are wondering what to do with your old one, turn it into an “emergencies only” cell phone. Even though there’s no subscription plan associated with the phone, because of government mandates, wireless carries are still required to transmit emergency calls made to 911.

Just one important note: In the event that you do need to use your emergency phone (heaven forbid!), you have to have reception to complete the call (as you would when making any cell phone call) and if the call drops you must call 911 back. Since the phone has no carrier plan, there’s no phone number assigned to the phone, thus making it impossible for dispatchers tocontact you.

So: Stash an old cell in your car’s glove compartment, add another to your emergency preparedness kit, and give one to your kid who’s maybe not quite old enough to have a full-time cell phone but old enough to know that calling 911 is for emergencies only.

For more tips on what you should keep in your emergency preparedness kit, click here.



  1. Robin Frink

    Using your old cell phone as an emergency phone is public information that everyone should know about. Granted, a drop call would prompt you to having to call back and noway of knowing your location if that were to happen, the added a safety net of having an extra tool for emergency situations is ideal. This information would be especially useful for mothers of small children that may not be ready for the full responsibility of a cell phones. If the child loses it, then its no big deal. I’ve found other uses for cellphones as well.http://www.artofmanliness.com/2012/06/14/survival-cell-phone/

    April 24, 2014 at 4:49 pm
  2. Terry Newhouse

    Terrible advice. Your emergency cell phone will run out of power if it’s stored for a long time.

    June 2, 2014 at 9:03 pm
  3. sarah

    Also be careful storing your phone in a HOT car. In Texas, for example, the heat in June, July, and August will completely fry a phone.

    June 3, 2014 at 11:45 am

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