The big four US wireless carriers — Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint — have turned to social media to ensure customers they’re taking steps to keep people connected during Hurricane Dorian. In addition, the Federal Communications Commission is working with the carriers to prepare.
Verizon is offering unlimited calling, texting and data for customers in the path of the hurricane. In a blog post, the carrier said its prepaid, postpaid and small-business customers affected by the hurricane will have unlimited calling, data and texting from Sept. 2 to Sept. 9.
Verizon Wireless stores operated by Victra in Florida are offering free charging stations, free one-time water damage services and discounts on portable power supplies through Sept. 8, according to a statement released Tuesday.
“Floridians are in our thoughts as they get ready for Dorian to make landfall,” John Granby, president of Verizon’s Consumer Group South Area, said in the post. “We know that people have a lot of work to do in order to prepare for a major hurricane, and this is one small thing we can do to ensure they are able to connect worry-free before, during and after the storm.”
AT&T tweeted that it’s waiving data overages in the affected Florida areas from Sept. 2 to Sept. 8. In a blog post, AT&T said it is monitoring and preparing for the hurricane.
“Customers rely on us, especially during major storms,” Joe York, president of AT&T Southeast, said in the post last week. “That’s why we practice readiness drills and simulations throughout the year and do all we can to have our networks prepared when severe weather strikes. At this point, we are actively working to position equipment and crews, and are ready to respond to support our customers if needed.”
Sprint said it’s ready to keep customers connected during and after the storm. The carrier said it’ll waive call, text and data overage fees for customers in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina.
T-Mobile, like Sprint, will be providing updates for customers on its website. The carrier reminded its customers that if they have Magenta, T-Mobile One or Simple Choice plans, they’ll always have unlimited talk, text and data. Customers on T-Mobile Metro have unlimited talk and text on all plans.
Dorian blew into the Bahamas as Category 5, the most powerful type of hurricane, on Monday. The storm claimed at least five lives, though that figure is expected to climb sharply. Late Tuesday morning, it was downgraded to a Category 2, according to CBS News. Over the weekend, weather authorities urged people wanting to capture pictures of the hurricane to abstain from going outside in Dorian’s eye.
Dorian was originally tracking to hit Florida but has shifted to travel up the state’s coast, parts of Georgia and the Carolinas for the week. Millions are evacuating or planning to do so.
You can find ways to prepare for the storm from your weather services or other resources. The Techy Trends also has a list of helpful tips for emergencies.
Originally published Aug. 30.
Update, Sept. 3: Adds background and news updates.