When storms like Irma touch ground, having a fully charged, fully connected cell phone is extremely important for the safety of those affected. FEMA went so far as to release guidelines for proper cell phone use during a storm, and how to make your battery last as long as possible. Proper cell coverage during a storm allows us to contact our loved ones, to receive updates on the storms progression, and, most importantly, to contact authorities and emergency services if necessary. Cellphone companies recognize the importance of battery life and cell coverage, and took steps to ensure coverage for as many people as possible during Irma.
Companies like Verizon were proactive in preparing for the storm’s effects. Before Irma had reached Florida, Verizon was preparing to mobilize fleets of generators and mobile charging stations, helping people who lost power or had to relocate keep their phones on and running. Beyond that, they worked to strengthen their 4G network and coverage along evacuation routes, and they even added new systems in hospitals and emergency facilities. The company bolstered their infrastructure in order to provide cell phone coverage to as many people affected by the storm as they could, bringing a vital resource that may otherwise have been lost.
The GAIN coalition applauds efforts by companies like Verizon during Hurricane Irma and other major weather events. The ability to make calls, send texts, or simply read updates on how storms progress is of paramount importance for the well-being of thousands. Cell phone infrastructure is a part of our everyday lives, and we’re excited to see providers show a strong commitment towards maintaining service, even in the midst of an historic storm like Irma.