As Hurricane Irene wends its way up the Eastern seaboard, the FCC has prepared several tips for people living in areas affected by the storm to communicate more efficiently.
The Federal Communications Commission
has offered a number of tips to help East Coast residents
continue communicating as Hurricane Irene stormed up the coastline Aug. 28.
Irene, a Category 1 event with wind surges topping 80 miles per hour at times, battered
the Tri-State area of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut early Sunday morning,
and is surging toward New England.
is affecting those along the shoreline and several miles inland. Google's Crisis Response center
offers a Google
Map storm tracker of Irene.
The FCC said
the Federal Emergency
(FEMA) has rolled out four roll call units
to police, fire and emergency medical communications systems, and TV and radio
stations along the eastern coastline.
will provide first responders and carrier repair teams with information about
what wireless communications are up or down in their area.
important. Widespread power outages are certain, so many users will be limited
to relying on their wireless carriers to complete calls from their mobile
phones. U.S. carriers AT&T, Verizon Wireless, Sprint and T-Mobile have all
fortified their network to prepare for Hurricane Irene.
people need to be aware of certain steps they can take to limit the impact on carrier
networks in an emergency.
To help people
in affected areas communicate with family and friends, the FCC offered the
non-emergency phone calls to minimize network congestion and conserve
battery power if you are using a wireless phone.
calls brief, preferably only for emergency personnel and/or family.
FCC recommends users text message from their wireless phone. "In many
cases, text messages will go through when your call may not. It will also
help free up more "space" for emergency communications on the
all communications devices at your disposal to connect with emergency
personnel, family and friends. For example, if your landline doesn't work,
try your mobile phone. If your mobile call can't connect, try text
messaging. Ideally, this will spread communications over multiple networks
and reduce overall congestion.
- To redial
a number, push "send" after you've ended a call, but wait 10
seconds before redialing. When users redial too quickly, data from the
handset to the cell sites do not have enough time to clear before a user
resends the same data, adding to a congested network.
charged batteries and car-charger adapters available to back up power for
a wireless phone.
a list of emergency phone numbers in your phone.
- If in
a vehicle, place calls while your vehicle is stationary.
a family member out of the affected area as a central contact, a person
all family members impacted by Irene can contact if a family unit becomes
your home number to your wireless number in the event of an evacuation,
which will help you receive incoming calls from your landline phone.
- If you lose power during the storm, use your car to charge cell phones
or listen to news alerts on the car radio-but only once the storm has
passed and if it is safe to do so.
broadcast and radio news for news alerts and updates about the