It’s important to be prepared for worst-case scenarios before they occur. If catastrophe strikes, you need to make sure you know how to handle the situation. After looking at the aftermath of recent environmental disasters, it has become clear that remotely-hosted communication systems like VoIP and hosted PBX can be a big asset. When an organization relies on a remotely-hosted system, it’s a lot simpler for them to get things up and running after a disaster. It doesn’t matter if their offices were destroyed or their equipment was damaged. If essential components of an organization’s communication system are remotely-located, that organization is virtually disaster-proof.

With that said, no system is problem-free. Experts have brought up some interesting questions about the issues remote hosting can have in an emergency situation.

Locating The Source Of A Remote Call

If you make a call from a landline or a cellular phone, it’s easy for emergency service providers to see where the call is coming from. They have technology that allows them to identify the source of a call. However, if a call is coming in from a remote communications hub, it can be difficult for emergency services to determine where a recovery team should be dispatched. VoIP or other remote systems could make it harder for you to get the help that you need.

IP addresses are portable by nature. When you are using remotely-hosted technology, your number won’t be tied to any one physical location. It’s easy to see where people that make this argument are coming from.

If your remote communication services are connected to a mobile device, you can get around that problem. More often than not, mobile devices already have location services enabled. However, if you place an emergency call from a fixed phone, there isn’t going to be any way to track your location accurately. Unless you’re using a mobile device, it is difficult or impossible to trace a VoIP or hosted PBX phone call.

To make things even more complex, a lot of IP providers don’t know the physical addresses of the places calls are being made from. If a disaster service asks your service provider to give them your location, they may not be able to do so. In a nutshell, IP addresses and physical addresses don’t share any link. Even if your IP address can be traced, it’s not going to help emergency providers determine your actual location.

Isn’t It Possible For Emergency Services To Track Your User Data?

The answer to that question is a lot more complicated than you might think.

If you’re using VoIP services, you’re going to have to use a username and password when you connect to your service provider. It’s possible for a provider to determine who has made a call. However, that’s the only information that they’ll have. VoIP services and other kinds of remote communication services are flexible by design. You can make calls from any location. The service provider may be able to provide the emergency worker with the address they have listed for you in their database, but that’s all they will be able to offer.

Of course, that doesn’t mean that hosted PBX and VoIP are useless in the case of an emergency. It simply means you should take some precautions when using remote communication services. You need to make sure you always keep your location data up to date. You also need to make sure you provide an accurate location to any emergency worker that you speak to. The greatest strength of remote communication systems is the freedom and mobility that they offer. Of course, this can also be a downside.

Although both hosted PBX and VoIP can have issues with location identification for emergency calls, with the right cloud PBX provider, you can be at ease knowing that they make sure that you are registered for the E911 (Enhanced 911) service to track your location successfully.