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What do you do when you lose 911 service?

According to the Douglas County Sheriff's Office, recent 911 outages stem from problems with various phone service providers. (SBG photo)

ROSEBURG, Ore. -- Several Douglas County areas have recently experienced 911 dispatch outages.

What do you do if you find yourself in an emergency during one of those outages?

According to the Douglas County Sheriff's Office, these recent outages stem from problems with various phone service providers.

Typically, those providers notify dispatch of the outage, but depending on how rural the area is, that could take 15 to 20 minutes.

But while phone lines may be down, the outages do not affect cell service.

"Last weekend, when the outage happened with InfoStructure, we did recommend for people to call 911 on cell phone if they needed assistance,” explained Brad O’Dell with Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, “if they had a neighbor or someone with a different carrier, those people would be able to reach us."

Officials say various things can cause the outages, including weather conditions, and there is no way to predict them.

If you do not have access to a cell phone, police say to make a plan for a backup form of communication in case of an emergency.

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