(DeSoto County, MS) Time was, the telephone was the quickest way for us to stay in touch with each other.
But now the internet and smart phones give us all kinds of options, and that proved really valuable for DeSoto School leaders who found themselves without phones due to the weekend ice storm.
The lobby of the DeSoto County School administration office was strangely quiet this week.
The weekend winter storm knocked out the phones, which surprised even the repairman.
”This is the first time in 22 years that the system has been down,” said repairman Harold Moore.
He called what happened “a fluke."
The problem started when ice brought down a tree limb on top of a power line. It caused a transformer power surge that traveled up the street to the school board building.
You can still see some of the damage it caused, but it never slowed down school leaders who say they don’t depend on phones as much as they used to.
”Land line phones don’t really affect our communications out anymore,” said George Loper of DeSoto County Schools.
Instead, administrators took to their computers to get word out about the problem and provide ways to people to contact them.
”When we need to get a mass message out to 33,000 students we use all, these social media types of mass communication to get that out” Loper explained.
DeSoto school leaders use cell phones and all types of social media these days.
”Twitter, Facebook, we have ‘notify me’ where parents can go to our website and sign up for getting text messages or e-mails with that,” Loper said.
And they always post alerts on their website.
Even though breakdowns in technology do happen, experts say they’re rare these days.
”If you keep clean power and keep the water out of it, most electronic equipment will serve you for years,” said Moore
Phones were back up and running by 3 p.m.
If you’d like to know more, about the different ways you can stay in touch with DeSoto school leaders, visit the the district’s web page.