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Here’s what AT&T is doing to keep your phone working during Hurricane Ian

Hurricane Ian continues to build up in the Gulf of Mexico and is on track to make landfall in Florida on Wednesday. The hurricane has significantly strengthened in less than 24 hours and is now bearing down as what is likely to soon become a Category 4 hurricane, posing a severe threat to the Tampa Bay and southwest Florida regions.

As the National Hurricane Center issues warnings of “catastrophic winds and flooding,” AT&T has announced the measures it is taking to ensure that people in the affected areas stay connected in the emergency scenario.

AT&T SatCOLT which is a mobile 5G tower platform.
Adam Doud/Digital Trends

To begin with, the carrier says it is on standby with disaster response gear and trained personnel that are part of its Network Disaster Recovery (NDR) team to assist the affected people in collaboration with the FirstNet safety relief network. Network assets are also ready to be deployed to assist public safety bodies.

Moreover, “emergency response and network recovery equipment” is also being tested and prepped across multiple locations to ensure that they are quickly deputed as and when the need arises. AT&T is also bracing its facilities against flood risks, and to ensure that power cut-offs don’t impact the emergency connectivity measures, fuel reserves for generators have been taken care of as well.

7PM EDT Position Update for Hurricane #Ian: The estimated minimum central pressure based on recent obs from a NOAA Hurricane Hunter is 947 mb. During the last hour, the Key West Int Airport reported a sustained wind of 48 mph with a gust to 71 mph.

— National Hurricane Center (@NHC_Atlantic) September 27, 2022

AT&T adds that it has “installed more generators at critical cell towers and switching facilities, and moved electronics essential to network operations above expected flood levels.” AT&T has been prepping for the emergency situation days in advance, readying its recovery gear and support trailers to assist first responders and its customers.

How to prepare for Hurricane Ian

If you’re in a region that is bracing for a severe impact from the hurricane but hasn’t been asked to vacate, prepare accordingly to stay indoors and let people know where you are. If possible, recharge all your connectivity gadgets like phones and laptops, and also prepare backup sources of electrical energy like power banks.

It is also of utmost importance to keep up with news and emergency support channels. Also, make sure that you have at least three to four days’ worth of food and water supplies stocked for the entire household. Plus, make sure that emergency gadgets like torches, batteries, and first aid supplies are also accessible.

Here are the 5 PM EDT Tue Sep 27 Key Messages for Hurricane #Ian. Residents in the Hurricane and Storm Surge Warning areas should listen to advice given by local officials and follow any evacuation orders for your area. For more:

— National Hurricane Center (@NHC_Atlantic) September 27, 2022

If you are an AT&T customer, the carrier has provisions for waiving messaging and call forwarding fees, alongside exemptions for activation and service installation fees in disaster-hit areas. AT&T also deploys mobile charging stations as well as generators in such areas, so keep an eye out for them, as well.

You can check the preparations and the latest area-wise impact warnings on the office of Florida governor’s emergency measures page here. Information about relief shelters is available on the official Florida Disaster page, while Red Cross assistance can be calling on the 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) helpline number or visiting the website.

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Nadeem Sarwar
Nadeem is a tech journalist who started reading about cool smartphone tech out of curiosity and soon started writing…
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