With Superstorm Sandy still fresh in our minds, it’s hard to believe a new hurricane season is already upon us. The official Hurricane Season 2013 starts June 1, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is predicting “more and stronger” hurricanes to hit this year.
T-Mobile’s operations and engineering teams are continuously working to enhance and prepare our national network infrastructure for the possibility of major weather events, such as hurricanes. Our teams have accumulated years of valuable experience with natural disasters, dealing with the aftermath of hurricanes, wildfires, earthquakes and floods. It’s a never-ending process of learning and making adjustments. But this year, we feel the most prepared we have ever been at T-Mobile.
Wireless customers can help prepare as well with a common sense approach. Here are a few tips we’ve put together based on our direct experience during storm seasons.
While networks can experience congestion during these high-volume periods, we recommend the following:
• Utilize text messaging to communicate instead of voice calls. Text messaging will work more consistently during high-usage periods versus voice calls.
• Keep your voice calls short in duration. There’s a good chance that after a natural disaster, there’s a significant increase in voice calls, on any carrier’s network. You can help by keeping your talk time to a minimum and using text messaging instead, whenever possible. Limiting voice calls also conserves your battery.
• Make sure your phone is fully charged and you have alternative charging solutions. Consider obtaining a vehicle charger in the event of power loss. T-Mobile also often sets up free mobile charging stations in retail stores and other community centers if commercial power has been affected. You should also have an alternative plan to recharge your battery in case of a power outage, such as using your car charger or having extra mobile phone batteries available. You can also consider purchasing a portable battery pack and have it charged ahead of time so that you will have a back-up source of power for your phone.
• Familiarize yourself with Wi-Fi calling functionality, a unique feature that allows T-Mobile customers with capable devices to make and receive calls via Wi-Fi, which can come in handy if the T-Mobile network experiences service delays or disruptions. Learn about T-Mobile Wi-Fi Calling: http://support.t-mobile.com/docs/DOC-1680.
• Stay informed with the latest storm forecasts from NOAA's National Weather Service at weather.gov and hurricanes.gov.
For T-Mobile Customer Care assistance, please visit http://my.t-mobile.com, call 611 from your T-Mobile handset or dial 1-800-937-8997.
Through preparation, diligence and smart steps, we can work together to minimize any storm damage or service disruption. Here’s hoping for a quiet season for all.
"This year, we are the most prepared we have ever been at T-Mobile. Every experience we have with a natural disaster, whether it’s a hurricane, wildfire, earthquake or something else, just makes us better in terms of how we respond to the next one.”
- Brian King
?VP, National Engineering Operations, T-Mobile