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Cell phone companies prepare for widespread outages during Hurricane Florence

Posted at 6:33 PM, Sep 12, 2018

More than 1 million people are under mandatory evacuation orders, and millions more could be impacted as Hurricane Florence makes its way to the U.S.  

The head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) issued a warning, saying areas along the coast could be without power for weeks.

In an effort to minimize interruptions, major cell phone companies are setting up command centers and sending equipment, supplies and staff ahead of the storm.

Companies have posted videos and sent messages, letting their customers know how they're prepared:

Verizon: “It's a truck we can send out. We can set it up in about an hour and provide cell coverage to a certain area.”

AT&T: “That tower you see there is a mobile tower that we quickly deploy to fully restore service. We maintain a fleet of them as part of your year-round preparations for extreme weather.”

Whether you're in the storm, or know someone impacted by it, cell phone companies suggest sending text messages instead of calling. Text messages are more likely to get through, because they take up fewer network resources.

Also, if you do call someone impacted by the hurricane, keep the call short so others can get through, including emergency workers.