Wireless providers are asking citizens in Hurricane Sandy’s path to text, don’t call.
Cell phone experts believe that texting as opposed to calling can help customers save battery life as well as keep the network from getting congested. If customers have to take or place a call, they recommend keeping the conversation short.
“Limit non-emergency calls to save battery power and free up wireless networks for emergency workers and operations and send brief text messages instead,” Verizon Wireless advised. “When the network gets busy, texts have a higher chance of getting through the first time and can be more efficient.”
Other cell phone providers such as AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint offer similar advice:
-Place cell phones, cell phone accessories and chargers in a plastic bag to avoid water damage.
-Add and store emergency contacts, email addresses, and a list of emergency agencies such as the fire department, police and other rescue agencies in your phone.
-In case of an evacuation, forward calls from work or home to your cell phone.
-Use your cell phone camera to take “before” pictures of your home and valuables in case damage occurs.
-If the wireless network is congested or down in your area, find an available Wi-Fi connection and switch to it on your phone.
-If you need to call out but the network is busy, wait several seconds before trying your call again. It allows time for the lines to clear.
In addition to the above tips, NBC’s Bob Sullivan also recommends the following cell phone tips:
-Turn your cell phone on airplane mode.
-Turn off your cell so your Wi-Fi detector is not searching for networks when they are not needed.
Providers also created portable cell sites in the mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions of the U.S. in case standard towers are damaged during the storm.