Now that the official 2018 Atlantic hurricane season has arrived and scientists are warning of a heightened risk this year, the need for reliable communications is more important than ever.
“HTC realizes the importance of telecommunications services in emergency situations and severe weather,” said Tom Vitt, HTC Director of Marketing. “At HTC, we are committed to helping our customers stay connected to their family and friends at all times, and we understand that the significance of doing so increases during emergency situations. So, we’re prepared to do whatever it takes to keep all of our services operating.”
Here are some simple tips to minimize frustration and maximize family safety in emergency situations:
- Have a family communications plan in place-Designate someone out of the area as a central contact, and make certain all family members know who to contact if they become separated. Consider additional mobile phones for your family’s use. If you want to add additional mobile phones to your wireless service, remember to do so before an emergency.
- Program emergency numbers-Emergency contact numbers should be entered into your home and mobile phones, including the police department, fire station and hospital, as well as family members. And, don’t forget to program in 911 so you don’t have to think about it during and after an emergency.
- Keep the lines open-HTC strongly encourages subscribers to limit phone use during periods of severe weather. Keep non-emergency calls to a minimum and limit your calls to the most important ones. Too many callers can jam telephone lines and overwhelm tower capacities. Also, refrain from calling 911 unless it is an actual emergency. Stay tuned to local radio and TV broadcasts for weather updates.
- Power outages can be a problem – It’s important to note that in a power outage situation, fiber to the home technology has a limited battery backup life typically up to 8 hours to keep traditional phone lines working. VoIP relies on a modem plugged into the electrical grid. No electricity, no phone. Telephone service served via copper facilities is line powered and not dependent on the same electrical supply as your home.
- Keep wireless batteries charged-Have an alternate plan to recharge your battery in case of power outages (i.e. charging via your car charger, extra cell phone batteries, use of power banks and portable chargers to give you extra talk time.
- Try text messaging-Most wireless phones are now text-messaging capable, and many times during an emergency such as a tropical storm or hurricane, text messaging will go through quicker than voice calls. And more importantly, text messaging helps free up the phone lines for emergency officials.
- Use call forwarding in evacuation-Since call forwarding is based out of the telephone central office, you can forward your home number to your wireless number in the event of an evacuation. You will get incoming calls from your landline phone, even if your local telephone service is disrupted at your home.
- Dial 611 for Repair Service-If your service is disrupted, dial 611 toll free from any HTC landline phone or 843-365-2186 to request repair service. Keep in mind that the loss of electrical power can sometimes result in the interruption of telephone and cable television service. As soon as the primary power supply is returned to our equipment, your service will once again be fully active.
- Do not rely on cordless home phones-Cordless home phones rely on your home’s electricity. During power outages, cordless phones are inoperable.
- Lightning can be dangerous-Limit your phone use to emergency calls only during inclement weather. Lightning can travel through phone lines resulting in severe injuries to anyone on that line.