T-Mobile makes it easier to donate to Red Cross Louisiana flood relief

t mobile red cross louisiana flooding
The impact of the historic flooding in Louisiana this month has been staggering. At least four people have been killed and tens of thousands more displaced by the Amite River floodwaters that continue to batter the region relentlessly. President Barack Obama has declared the parishes of Tangipahoa, St. Helena, East Baton Rouge, and Livingston disaster areas. And to make matters worse, hourslong cell service outages have hampered relief. In the midst of the grim news, though, some are helping in ways they can. On Monday, T-Mobile announced a text-based donation drive in partnership with the American Red Cross.

Texting a donation is a straightforward affair. T-Mobile customers can place a charge atop their monthly bill — $10, by default — for the Red Cross’s ongoing effort by sending the word “LAFLOODS” to 90999. The Red Cross is helping at least 4,700 people in emergency centers across Louisiana, the agency said in a press release Sunday.

“This is a difficult time for thousands of families,” T-Mobile chief John Legere said in a statement. “Our thoughts, prayers, and support are with them and all the first responders.”

T-Mobile isn’t the only carrier extending a helping hand. Verizon has designated four of its brick-and-mortar stores as “rest areas” — the outlets at College Drive, Lafayette-Louisiana Avenue, New Iberia, and Baton Rouge Town Center are offering free calls, internet access, and device charging stations to victims of the flooding. “Our local stores are open to help you through these difficult times, whether you’re our customers or not,” Verizon said in a tweet. “We’ve got your back, even if we’re not your carrier.”

The outreach comes in the midst of extended AT&T downtime. On Sunday morning, many AT&T mobile customers woke up to no cellular service, an ongoing problem Lance Skelly, AT&T’s director of communications, attributed to weather-related damage equipment damage. “[One of the] switching centers that carries network traffic in the Baton Rouge area is flooded,” he told the region’s News Channel 10. “Our restoration work continues around the clock to restore service for affected customers. As progress is made during these efforts, service will return for some customers and others may continue to experience intermittent service.”

AT&T has deployed portable generators, mobile cell antennas, and emergency communications vehicles to supplement service in the meantime. It’s working with the Louisiana State Police to erect 11 temporary towers, in addition, and said that its technicians will begin repairs as soon as conditions allow. “We are monitoring our network closely and will continue to coordinate with local officials and utility companies,” Scully said.


AT&T’s new 5G network could adopt tiered billing, including a gaming plan

AT&T may be leveraging its 5G's fast speeds and low latency in order to create a special plan for gamers. AT&T didn't disclose what the 5G gaming plan will cost, but gamers could be free from Wi-Fi in the future.

‘Destiny 2' and the 'Fortnite' Celebration Pack are free right now with PS Plus

Free games, radically discounted hit titles, and exclusive DLC are all on the table with PlayStation Plus. We're here to make sure you don't miss out on any of the best PS4 game deals available this month.
Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

Amazon Prime brings more perks than just free two-day shipping. Subscribers get access to a huge library of TV shows to stream at no extra cost. Here are our favorite TV shows currently available on Amazon Prime.

Tired of paying for shipping? Here's how to set up an Amazon Prime account

Want to know how to sign up for Amazon Prime? It's easier than you might think and even comes with a free trial so that you can enjoy all of its benefits for 30 days risk-free. Just follow these steps.

Apple purchases Shazam and makes the app free of ads

Soon after Apple announced it was acquiring music-recognition service Shazam, it was revealed that the European Commission would be looking into the deal. The commission has now cleared the way for Apple's acquisition of Shazam.

Spotify vs. Pandora: Which music streaming service is better for you?

Which music streaming platform is best for you? We pit Spotify versus Pandora, two mighty streaming services with on-demand music and massive catalogs, comparing every facet of the two services to help you decide which is best.

Enter to win the new iPhone XS and three Speck Presidio cases

Excited about the new iPhone XS? You may be in luck: We've teamed up with Apple and Speck to give one lucky winner a brand new iPhone XS and Speck Presidio case bundle, a combined $1,120 value. Read on for more details and enter now for…

The best iPhone XS Max screen protectors to safeguard that huge screen

If you love big screens, then the iPhone XS Max's huge 6.5-inch display is for you. But it won't fare well against concrete. Protect your display with the best iPhone XS Max screen protectors.

From Android 1.0 to Android 9.0, here’s how Google’s OS evolved over a decade

It's hard to believe, but Android has been around for almost a decade now. From Android 1.0 to Android 9.0 Pie, here's the history of Android and the changes that came with each new software iteration.
Social Media

Snap, then shop? Snapchat’s camera will soon buy stuff from Amazon

Want to Snap that item and buy it for yourself? Snapchat is testing an option to shop on Amazon using the camera. The tool works similar to Shazaming a song inside Snapchat; users tap and hold on the screen inside the camera mode.

Google Feed is now known as ‘Discover,’ will be available on mobile browsers

As part of its 20th anniversary, Google unveiled its plans to improve Search starting with its Google Feed. Now known as Discover, the update brings along a redesign to help you find content that aligns with your interests.

Renders for Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL leak in black and white colors

Forget the Pixel 2: Google will announce its latest flagships, the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, on October 9 in New York City and Paris. Here's everything we know about the upcoming Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL.

Apple iPhone XS Max vs. Samsung Galaxy Note 9: Powerhouse face-off

Can Apple's heavyweight smartphone beat Samsung's reigning champion? We decided the compare the iPhone XS Max to the Galaxy Note 9 in a few different categories to see which smartphone comes out on top.

Leaked renders show upcoming Huawei Mate 20 Pro in three stunning colors

Huawei is no stranger when it comes to big phones. And this year it plans to go even bigger with the Huawei Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro. Here's what we think we know about the new range.