The 2017 hurricane season was unrelenting, with three significant back-to-back storms pounding multiple states/islands and leaving behind tremendous devastation. 2018 is also expected to be more active than usual so T-Mobile is planning ahead and getting customers information they may need to be storm-ready.
We’re always monitoring storm activity and if we see the potential for impact, we’ll be ready. T-Mobile sets up an engineering command center near the expected area of impact and deploys rapid-response teams that is ready to help minimize potential interruptions to wireless service. In addition, T-Mobile’s Network Operation Centers (NOCs) closely manage network traffic and coordinate response after an event, like in the aftermath of a hurricane.
In Florida and Puerto Rico, areas that are often hardest-hit by tropical storms and where Hurricanes Irma and Maria wreaked havoc last year, T-Mobile engineers have doubled the number of permanent generators and added infrastructure to hundreds of towers. Also, more vehicles are in place throughout the impacted area to enable a faster response once it’s safe for engineers to make repairs.
Even with our extensive advance preparations, service interruptions could happen, particularly if there are power outages. Once recovery efforts can begin after an event, T-Mobile deploys equipment, supplies and disaster experts to all affected areas. Emergency equipment includes portable generators, fuel trucks, Cell On Wheels (COWs), Cells on Light Trucks (CoLTS), fuel and diesel trucks and other vehicles.
If your mobile service has been interrupted here are some things to keep in mind while engineers work to restore it:
- Stay safe and calm. Our engineers are aware of outages when they occur and will work 24/7 to get service restored as quickly as possible.
- Hazardous conditions may cause delays. Flooding, downed trees and other obstacles can hinder restoration efforts. Engineers will make repairs as soon as it’s safe to do so.
- If you still have power but no mobile service, try Wi-Fi calling, which allows T-Mobile customers with capable devices to text and make and receive voice calls via any capable Wi-Fi connection. For Apple phones, go to Settings > Phone > Wi-Fi Calling and for Android phones, go to Settings > More Connection Settings > Wi-Fi Calling. We recommend setting this up ahead of the storm. If you have to call 9-1-1 using Wi-Fi, be sure to give your address to the operator.
If you still have a connection to the T-Mobile network after the storm passes, here are a few reminders:
- Send a text instead of calling. Text messages are more likely to get through a wireless network during high-usage periods because they take up fewer network resources.
- If you need to make a call, consider keeping it short so others can also get through. The number of calls typically spikes during severe weather events, so keeping the lines free for emergency workers and your neighbors would be appreciated!
Customers have many options to stay up to date with T-Mobile’s recovery efforts:
- Follow us on social media or check the T-Mobile Newsroom
- Visit www.my.t-mobile.com or call 611 from your T-Mobile handset
- For the latest storm forecasts from NOAA’s National Weather Service at weather.gov and the National Hurricane Center at hurricanes.gov