That's what we did - called our answering machine every few hours! Good thing we didn't go with voice mail!
All too true. During the 2000 Cerro Grande fire (Los Alamos, NM), we had been calling the house of a friend of ours. This house was on a canyon surrounded by ponderosa and would have been the first in that part of town to go. Just about the time that we figured that the fire was going to get there, the answering machine stopped responding and we figured the house was gone. Fortunately, it was just that the power had gone out.
Yeah, I tried calling my Parents' place in Jamul (Deersprings, on Honey Springs road). So did they. It stopped ringing at all midday on Monday, and only went straight to voicemail. Still, it could be the lines.
Getting several pictures of their neighbors' homes up in flames, but so far no picture of their home, which was probably situated in among the worst of locations. No one knows if it's still standing.
We did the same thing with my parents and my sister's answering machines at their homes in RB near Mule Hill. One just rang and rang and the other had an odd busy signal. We have since found out both homes are safe.