T-Mobile Stands Ready for Hurricane Idalia, Deploys Emergency Teams and Resources Ahead of Landfall
As Hurricane Idalia intensifies to Category 3 and continues its path toward landfall, T-Mobile has activated its emergency plan so when needed, teams can quickly begin recovery efforts to keep communities, first responders and customers along the Gulf Coast and Atlantic seaboard connected.
The National Hurricane Center has warned that Idalia could bring catastrophic storm surge along the Gulf Coast and southward to Tampa Bay.
Key points you need to know:
- Generators and batteries are topped off at local towers.
- Quick-deploy and portable satellites, microwave solutions and generators are ready to quickly recover critical connectivity.
- Customer concessions for unlimited talk, text and data from August 30 through September 6 are in place.
- Emergency teams are staged and ready to quickly begin network restoration; provide Wi-Fi, devices and device charging; and provide first responders with activated phones with Wireless Priority Service.
Here’s more about what we are doing to be ready:
Ahead of landfall, our Emergency Management teams have worked to ensure readiness and resiliency in projected impact areas. We’ve:
- Refueled generators and ensured that high-capacity batteries are charged on towers and other important network sites.
- Readied and staged engineers, technicians and equipment — such as portable generators and satellites that can be quickly deployed, microwave solutions to supply temporary backhaul and heavy-duty trucks that provide high-speed and 5G coverage and capacity. This equipment can enhance network coverage, boost capacity, replace cell sites that are damaged or down due to commercial power outages, and connect cell sites to deliver high speed data should local fiber cable be damaged.
- Filled fuel trucks.
Also, over the last several years, our Emergency Management teams have extensively hardened our network ahead of the hurricane seasons, and we’ve worked to ensure readiness and resiliency in areas projected to be impacted by Idalia.
While the majority of our customers are on plans with unlimited talk, text and data, for those in impacted counties in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina who aren’t, we are offering unlimited talk, text and data starting Wednesday, August 30 through Wednesday, September 6.
First Responder and Community Support
T-Mobile's teams have also staged equipment ready to provide critical wireless connectivity, Wi-Fi connectivity and devices to first responders, customers and communities. Our team is ready with heavy-duty supply transport trucks, Wi-Fi trailers and a Command Center. We’ll have additional RVs in the area to provide relief and housing to teams as needed. We’ll also be providing phones and charging equipment such as cables and battery packs, and we’ll have activated phones with Wireless Priority Service on hand for first responders to help ensure emergency communications move to the front of the line during times of high traffic. Our team is also at the State Emergency Operations Center in Tallahassee working with state and local officials to support public safety.
Any first responder agencies or organizations needing communications assistance can reach out to our 24-hour emergency hotline at 888-639-0020 or email ERTRequests@T-Mobile.com.
T-Mobile and Metro by T-Mobile Stores
The safety of our employees and customers is paramount. We’ve already closed many stores in Idalia’s projected path and in surrounding areas, we’re closing others as early as 2 pm ET today. Updates on T-Mobile local store hours can be found here and Metro by T-Mobile stores are here.
We are partnering with our teams to take care of our local employees, which includes closing some office locations and supporting employees and their families during this time.
Plan for Every Emergency
Preparedness and proactive planning are essential for safeguarding you and your family's well-being before, during and after a disaster. In preparation for Idalia and ahead of National Preparedness Month in September, here’s what you can do to be ready:
- Create a family emergency plan with your loved ones so everyone knows what to do in an emergency. T-Mobile has tips, resources and an easy-to-use emergency template here: How to Create a Family Emergency Plan.
- Load up a fully equipped Go Bag to ensure that you and your family have critical items in case of a quick evacuation. For more information on the best items to include, check out Everything You Need in Your Go Bag.
- Put everything on your phone to be ready, and fully charge it. Download critical apps such as NOAA National Weather Service, enable Wireless Emergency Alerts, set up Wi-Fi calling and use power or battery saving modes to stretch battery life. Take steps outlined on the checklist below:
- Bookmark federal and disaster relief organizations, including The American Red Cross, Ready.gov and FEMA for more resources that can help you prepare or get support.
For more information on how T-Mobile prepares for and responds to disasters, visit T-Mobile’s Emergency Response Hub.
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