Horry County, South Carolina – Due to Hurricane Florence and the mandatory evacuation ordered by Governor Henry McMaster for the South Carolina Coast, HTC retail locations in Murrells Inlet and Socastee will close at noon today.
HTC has online payment options available via My Account at www.htcinc.net or pay by phone payment options at 843-365-2154. HTC members may reach the Customer Contact Center (843-365-2154) for service questions Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 9:00 PM and Saturday from 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM.
Additionally, the Residential Technical Support (843-369-8745) and Repair (843-365-2186) teams are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
HTC is taking necessary measures for hurricane conditions by testing and fueling standby generators, inspecting network offices and equipment locations to prevent flooding, preparing fleet vehicles for deployment and much more.
HTC personnel will be watching the storm as it moves into our service area and monitoring the network operations center for any alarms.
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 by dialing 611 toll free from any HTC exchange or 843-365-2186. If your services are interrupted due to the storm, members 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 at 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 http://www.htcinc.net/severe-weather or contact Nicole Hyman, HTC Senior Marketing Coordinator, at 843-369-8498 or 843-902-3838.