T-Mobile’s network team is preparing for the 2017 hurricane season.
“During an emergency your phone is your connection to loved ones, first responders and critical information, and we’ll do everything we can to make sure service is available when you need it,” said Neville Ray, Chief Technology Officer of T-Mobile.
In advance of any hurricane forecasted to make landfall in the U.S., T-Mobile sets up an engineering command center near the expected area of impact and deploys rapid-response teams to minimize interruptions to wireless service.
These teams are prepared to maintain and deploy T-Mobile’s back-up power solutions, such as portable generators, fuel cells and mobile Cell on Wheels (COWs). In addition, T-Mobile’s Geo-Redundant Network Operation Centers (NOCs) closely manage network traffic and further coordinate any response to an event, such as the aftermath of a hurricane.
To increase your chances of staying connected with loved ones before, during and after a storm or disaster, all consumers can take these important steps:
- Make sure your phone is fully charged before the stormand you have a plan to recharge it (like a car charger or portable charger) in case of a power outage. You can find several options at T-Mobile retail stores and online.
- Conserve phone battery lifeduring power outages by using the power save mode in your phone’s settings. You should also reduce screen brightness and limit downloads, audio and video streaming, and non-critical apps.
- Send a textinstead of calling. Text messages are more likely to get through a wireless network during high-usage periods since they take up fewer network resources.
- If you need to make a call, keep it shortso others can also get through. The number of calls typically spikes during severe weather events, so keep the lines free for emergency workers and your neighbors.
- Keep your phone dryby storing it in a plastic bag or other waterproof covering.
- Use Wi-Fi callingif cellular service is not available. Wi-Fi calling allows T-Mobile customers with capable devices to text and make and receive voice calls via any 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.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is predicting this year’s season will be above normal again with a 70 percent chance of 11 to 17 named storms, including 5 to 9 hurricanes that could produce 2 to 4 major hurricanes, which are defined as Category 3, 4 or 5 storms.
According to NOAA, in an average season there are 12 named storms, including six hurricanes, three of which could become major hurricanes.