HTC helps members stay connected following Hurricane Florence

Horry County, South Carolina – Being part of the local community it’s served for over 65 years, HTC wants to continue to help its members stay connected following the impacts of Hurricane Florence. 

Thus, HTC will be glad to try and work with any business or residential customer being temporarily displaced by the storm itself or by the current river flooding and requiring their service to be briefly disconnected or relocated. Residential members may call 843-365-2154 and business members may call 843-365-2155 for more information.

Significant progress has been made restoring services that were interrupted at the height of the storm with several locations across the county relying on generators.  HTC crews are also making preparations all across the county in advance of anticipated rising water levels near rivers and low lying areas.  HTC encourages members and residents who live in flood prone areas to also take the appropriate precautions.

“HTC realizes the effects of Hurricane Florence on our members and neighbors have been extensive and this is one way HTC can let them know that we don’t just work here, we also live here,” said Tom Vitt, HTC Director of Marketing. 

HTC will provide additional information and updates to all news media. 

Members of the media are asked to direct their questions to Nicole Hyman at 843-902-3838 to assist with communicating the most up-to-date information to the public. 

For more information, visit https://www.htcinc.net/severe-weather or contact Nicole Hyman, HTC Senior Marketing Coordinator, at 843-369-8498 or 843-902-3838. 

About HTC

HTC, Inc. is the nation’s largest telecommunications cooperative.  Founded in 1952, HTC celebrates over 65 years of service to Horry and Georgetown Counties as a local communications leader.  HTC offers High Speed Internet, Digital Cable, Digital Wireless, Home Security, local telephone and long distance service, and advanced business services such as Local and Wide Area Networks (LAN/WAN), Managed Networks, VOIP Solutions, WiFi Solutions, Firewall and Security services. HTC provides these services utilizing the area’s most extensive fiber optic network.

For additional information about HTC, call (843) 365-2154.

www.htcinc.net  |  Twitter: @HorryTelephone  |  Facebook:  www.facebook.com/HTCinc

Contact:  Nicole Hyman, HTC Senior Marketing Coordinator, 843-369-8498 or nicole.hyman@htcinc.net

AT&T to waive data overage during aftermath of Hurricane Florence

After a natural disaster or major tragedy, the most important help AT&T provides its customers is understanding and empathy.

AT&T will be waiving data overage in the wake of Hurricane Florence.

All approved overage offers from AT&T include: 

  • Mobility Postpaid, AT&T PREPAID (not including Cricket), Wireless Home Phone and Premium no-contract customers.
  • CRU, Consumer, and AT&T Signature Program customers

Offer #1:

Item

Details

Time Frame

12:00 a.m. Tuesday, September 11, 2018, through 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, September 25, 2018 – local time zone.

Postpaid Wireless

Talk, text, and data usage will not result in overage charges for postpaid customers based in 520 specific zip codes. The customer’s location and usage waiver is based on account billing address.

Prepaid Wireless

For AT&T PREPAID customers based in specific NPA NXX codes, they will receive zero rated voice, text and data services and extend their payment date from 12:00 a.m. Tuesday, September 11, 2018, through 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, September 25, 2018 – local time zone.

 

HTC crews working to restore service

HTC crews are currently working with Santee Cooper and Horry Electric to reestablish critical communications to wireless towers, government facilities, and HTC network offices. We have boots in the field and will continue to work on restoration as long as the weather permits. Our first priority is the network itself and then go from there. We ask for your patience as we attempt to get services restored.

Here’s how to clear communication errors and weather alerts on your home security system

Security Panel

Important: Once power is lost and the backup battery is drained, it can take 24-48 hours for the battery to recharge.

DSC:

“FC”/Communication/Phone Line Message:

This means the alarm failed to communicate with monitoring at one time. It could be possible the dial tone service was interrupted at your location.

Steps to perform a Communication Test or Comm Test:

  1. Check the telephone line for dial tone.
  2. If dial tone is present, make sure all windows and doors are closed and the system is reading “Ready to arm” on panel.
    1. The landline phone must be on the receiver and cannot be in use for this test.
  3. Press # to wake up screen on panel.
  4. Enter * 6
  5. Enter your 4 digit code used to arm and disarm the system
  6. Scroll right using arrow key to “System test” then press * key
  7. The siren will sound (beep) for a few seconds.
  8. Press # # at this point the panel may beep again and the yellow triangle will go away, in the event it does not, refer to step 9
  9. Contact the monitoring center (843 369 0063) to place the account on TEST for 10 minutes.
    1. Set the alarm in Stay or Away mode
    2. Intentionally set the alarm off by opening a door with an alarm sensor, then allow the alarm to sound for 45 seconds
    3. Enter your digit code to disarm

The communication error should clear in approximately 2-3 minutes. Please note, even though the date and time are correct on the panel display, you may need to reset the date and time, in some cases this will make the yellow triangle go away.

Reset Time and Date:  

  1. * 6
  2. Enter 4-digit code, then 1
  3. Then enter in date and time. Please note the time will need to be keyed in as Military time
  4. The Panel will beep to indicate change. Press ## to exit.

VISTA:

“FC”/Communication/Phone Line Message:

This means the alarm failed to communicate with monitoring at one time. It could be possible the dial tone service was interrupted at your location.

Steps to perform a Communication Test or Comm Test:

  1. Check the telephone line for dial tone.
  2. If dial tone is present, make sure all windows and doors are closed and the system is reading “Ready to arm” on panel.
    1. The landline phone must be on the receiver and cannot be in use for this test.
  3. Enter 4-digit code, then 5 for TEST, then 1 on the keypad (for example, if your 4-digit code is 1234, enter 1234 51)
    1. The system may make a loud beeping noise during test and “DD” may appear on the screen.
  4. Wait 1 minute and then clear “FC” from the panel by entering your 4-digit code then pressing 1 for OFF, then enter your 4-digit code and press 1 for OFF again

LYNX:

“FC”/Communication/Phone Line Message:

This means the alarm failed to communicate with monitoring at one time. It could be possible the dial tone service was interrupted at your location.

Steps to perform a Communication Test or Comm Test:

  1. Check the telephone line for dial tone.
  2. If dial tone is present, make sure all windows and doors are closed and the system is reading “Ready to arm” on panel.
    1. The landline phone must be on the receiver and cannot be in use for this test.
  3. Enter 4-digit code, then 5 for TEST
    1. The system may make a loud beeping noise during test and “TEST” may appear on the screen.
    2. Wait approximately 1 minute
    3. Enter 4-digit code then press the OFF button, then repeat the steps again

Lynx Touch:

Manual System Test: This process will not send any alarms signals to the monitoring stations.

Disarm the system and close all protected doors and windows, etc. System should be “Ready to Arm”

  1. Select “Tools” icon (may be under “more” found in the bottom right of home screen).
  2. Enter in 4-digit Master code
  3. Select “Test” icon
  4. Choose Communication Test
  5. If successful, “Service OK” will display.
  6. If successful, “Test Message Sent” will display. Check Micro Key or ESC report to see if test was recorded.
    1. If not successful, “Test Message Failed – Not Registered!” will display.
    2. To exit Communication Mode, press the Home button and enter your 4 digit code.

How do I clear a severe weather alert from a DSC Touch?

When a Severe Weather Alert is issued, the panel will chime approximately every three seconds until acknowledged. The status bar will display a scrolling message stating the nature of the severe weather and an alert bubble will appear on the Contact Us icon in the bottom right hand corner of the screen. To acknowledge the alert, click on the ‘Contact Us’ icon and select the ‘Message Center’ tab. After reading the alert details, check the box next to it to acknowledge the alert and discontinue the chime.

How do I clear a severe weather alert from a DSC Impassa?

Press and hold the 0 key to clear the alert.

How do I clear a severe weather alert from a Qolsys IQ?

When a Severe Weather Alert is issued, the panel will chime approximately every three seconds until acknowledged. The status bar will display a scrolling message stating the nature of the severe weather and an alert bubble will appear on the Contact Us icon in the bottom right hand corner of the screen. To acknowledge the alert, click on the ‘Contact Us’ icon and select the ‘Message Center’ tab. After reading the alert details, check the box next to it to acknowledge the alert and discontinue the chime.

HTC offices will close at 5 p.m. Wednesday

Horry County, South Carolina –Due to Hurricane Florence and the most recent change in the projected forecast, HTC has made the decision to close all HTC business offices at 5 p.m. today through Sunday.  HTC is prepared and ready to respond should outages occur due to storm-force winds and heavy rain.

HTC personnel will be watching the storm as it moves into our service area and managing the emergency operations center to monitor the network for any alarms.  HTC Chief Executive-Marketing, Economic, Strategic Initiatives, Brent Groome states, “HTC crews are on standby and should outages occur, assessments will be made, and crews will be assigned for repairs and maintenance as conditions permit.”

Sometimes, the loss of electrical power can result in the interruption of voice, video and data services.  Many may wonder why these electrical outages also cause outages to communications services.  All communications networks require electronic equipment to transmit signals and, this electronic equipment requires power. 

HTC utilizes generators and batteries as alternative power sources to maintain service for as long as possible.  If you experience problems with cable television or high-speed internet services and have power, it is possible that the equipment serving the area may be without power.  As soon as the primary power source is returned to HTC equipment, your other services will once again be fully active.

The objective is to restore service to the largest number of members in the shortest possible time.  However, safe travel and the safety of HTC employees are primary concerns.  The intent is to restore services as uniformly, and as safely as possible.  HTC works with other utility companies and emergency management officials in Horry and Georgetown Counties to restore service. 

Members should report any outages by calling HTC Repair at 843-365-2186.  If your telephone or cable service is interrupted due to the hurricane, customers can rest assured that HTC is doing its best to restore service as soon as possible.  

HTC appreciates your patience. 

Safety Tips during Severe Weather

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, voice services provided via cable modems and fiber to the home technology have a limited battery backup life typically up to 8 hours to keep those phone lines working. Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) services rely on a modem plugged into an electrical source.  No electricity, no phone.  Telephone service served via older 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, power banks or 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 843-365-2186 for Repair Service-If your service is disrupted, dial 843-365-2186 or 611 toll free from any HTC landline phone 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. 

HTC will provide additional information and updates to all news media should outages occur. 

Members of the media are asked to direct their questions to Nicole Hyman at 843-902-3838 to assist with communicating the most up-to-date information to the public. 

For more information, visit https://www.htcinc.net/severe-weather/or contact Nicole Hyman, HTC Senior Marketing Coordinator, at 843-369-8498 or 843-902-3838. 

 

Don’t forget what you’re leaving behind if you evacuate

Surge protector
Most surge protectors cannot protect against a lightning strike. Be sure to unplug as many devices as possible before leaving your home.

You’ve undoubtedly made all your preparations to evacuate for Hurricane Florence, but don’t forget about the items you don’t take with you.

Water and lightning pose extreme risks to your electronic equipment and appliances during inclement weather.

Here are some simple tips to ensure you’ve done everything you can to protect your home before evacuating:

Unplug all your electronic devices you possibly can. Lightning strikes can cause surges in your lines that can destroy your equipment. Items like TVs, Set-Top Boxes, Smart Devices and Cell Phones on a charger should all be unplugged during a storm.

Backup your computer content. If you don’t want to trust that merely unplugging your computer can protect it from surges, be sure to backup your content. This data could prove pivotal during recovery from the storm.

Ask an expert. If ANY of your electrical appliances, outlets or equipment gets wet during a storm, do not turn it on until it’s been checked by a qualified service technician. That includes your washer and dryer, as laundry rooms are sometimes prone to flooding.