The Federal Communications Commission has been working with wireless carriers in the southeast to prepare for emergency situations as Hurricane Dorian nears Florida. The Category 4 storm unleashed massive flooding in the Bahamas on Monday, with sustained winds hitting as high as 185 mph.
To help prepare for the storm’s arrival in the US, the agency has reached out to wireless carriers and broadcasters to offer assistance this weekend, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said in a statement.
“With our government partners, including FEMA, we have worked to ensure that communications providers and power companies closely coordinate their activities as needed when service restoration efforts get underway — making sure they implement lessons learned from Hurricane Michael,” Pai said. “And we have reminded wireless carriers of the need to have roaming agreements in place before the storm hits.“
In 2018, Hurricane Michael’s 155mph winds tore down electrical wires and ripped apart fiber networks needed for delivering broadband and mobile phone service in Florida.
The FCC also announced on Monday that it had activated the Disaster Information Reporting System, a system that communications providers such as carriers and broadcasters can use to report and monitor communications infrastructure status.
As of 2 p.m. EDT Monday, Dorian’s center about 105 miles east of West Palm Beach, Florida. In the Bahamas, people sheltered in schools and churches as Dorian’s winds ripped off roofs, overturned cars and tore down power lines.
Hurricane Dorian is still expected to stay just off the US coast as it makes its way up the Atlantic seaboard.