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by: Asher Ricard

During Katrina, families felt frustration with the inability to get in touch with loved ones because of overused cellular networks and congestion on the lines. It left many worried and scared as they waited to hear of loved ones safety.

Cell phone companies have spent years upgrading in preparation for the next big storm. However, they are asking those who find themselves in the same situation to take some added precautions. With Gustov approaching, the cell phone companies are asking those in the path when the storm hits or after to text instead of calling. Texting uses less of the network then actual calling does. This will free up the network. I have had countless times that I have seen this with my own phone in a non-emergency situation. There have been times when I couldn’t make or receive calls, but I could text.

Cell phone users should take note that the companies have spent millions to rectify the issues during Katrina so texting is just a tip.

PC World reports Verizon and Sprint Nextel have separately issued statements saying they each have spent about US$140 million in the Gulf states in the aftermath of Katrina. A spokesman said AT&T has spent "hundreds of millions" in the Gulf region, both on wired and wireless infrastructure.

During Katrina, the primary reason for the lack of cell phone ability was because of the lack of power to cell stations. The companies have spent millions upgrading by buying generators to keep the power going during storms.

Which brings up a second tip to cell phone users caught in the storm. Prepare to charge your own cell phone. There are new battery-operated cell phone chargers that cost less then $20. If spending the money on the battery-operated charger is out of the question, remember to pack car adapters.

The cell phone companies have already began to move emergency response teams in place to insure cell phone use is available.

For those using landlines, remember that cordless phones also need power. You may need to get out the old antique phone in order to have phone service.

I know this seems silly to worry about-usage of cell phones. However, if you have a family member in the area, cell phones are necessary to know if you are alive and safe.

Know that the cell phone companies do care and are continuing to improve. Gustav may be on its way, but the cell phone companies are prepared this time and waiting

from searchwarp.com

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