LaPorte County officials are looking into this public safety risk after a massive outage cut phone and 911 service there and in Porter county for more than 10 hours on Monday.
"I thought I was having an issue with my phone," said La Porte Mayor Blair Milo.
Milo found out no one had service after crews repairing a damaged utility pole near Westville cut a fiber optic line around 6 a.m.
This was more than a just a few crossed wires.
Calls couldn't go out and couldn't come in, and the 911 center in La Porte and their backup--- the 911 center in Porter County were both down.
"Porter is the backup for LaPorte. LaPorte is the backup for Porter county. Clearly that system failed yesterday, because it cut the line that served both," said Milo.
There was a lot of trouble getting the word out.
Our Factfinder team finally knows the reasons why.
Mayor Milo said dispatchers informed the local radio stations in La Porte, but there was one problem.
"For a lot of the local stations, it's a holiday, and they (police/dispatch) ended up just leaving voicemails, so we didn't get the message out as soon as we would have liked," she said.
WSBT News didn't find out about the outages until we saw a message posted on the Mayor's Facebook page.
We went to talk to the 911 Director, John Dudek, to find out why.
He didn't want to talk to us on camera but said no one considered alerting WSBT or any of the other media that cover the market about other numbers people should try, in case of an emergency.
Landlines and multiple cell phone carriers didn't have service either.
Dudek said this was an unusual circumstance, where even if someone had an emergency, they probably would have run into trouble trying to call anyone.
There are still a lot of questions about the phone and service outage.
We don't know how many people were affected, and we don't know many calls were routed to Michigan City's 911 center, which is the backup to the backup.
But LaPorte city and county leaders are working to fix this problem.
Dudek is talking with Frontier to find out how they can back up the backup.
County leaders want an action plan in case something like this happens again, and the Director said their list of contacts will expand.
"I think everybody recognizes the severity of this issue, and I think we're very fortunate that as we're looking at this," said Milo, "We haven't seen major fallout from it. It seemed to be a very quiet day, yesterday."