Monday, June 24, 2024

Mobile carriers: Cellphones can be lifeline to disasters

Anticipating the massive strength of Typhoon Yolanda, mobile operators Smart Communications and Globe Telecom announced that they have made the necessary preparations to secure their infrastructure along the typhoon?s path.

The monster typhoon, whose international name is Haiyan, is expected to make landfall late on Thursday, November 7.

Credit: accuweather.com

In a statement, Smart said it has put in place business continuity plans to maintain communication services and ensure speedy response and restoration should facilities be affected.

As a precautionary measure against the possible onslaught of the typhoon, Smart said additional equipment and personnel in crucial sites have been prepositioned in Samar and Leyte to minimize possible service interruptions.

Globe, for its part, said the company?s network modernization program involved the deployment of advanced equipment that strengthened its network resiliency and redundancy measures.

?Telecommunication services become even more critical in times of natural calamities. We want to assure our subscribers that the Globe network is disaster-ready following resiliency and redundancy measures we have put in place and our network personnel are well-equipped to address challenges that the typhoon could bring us,? said Yoly Crisanto, head of Globe corporate communications.

She said the company?s technical personnel will be available 24/7 to address any network-related concerns.

Noting that a mobile phone can be a lifeline during disasters, Smart encouraged subscribers to:

1. Fully charge cell phone batteries and ensure that you have enough load to make calls and send messages for at least three days.

2. In the event of power outages, conserve battery power. Make judicious use of voice calls. Send text messages instead as these put less strain on your batteries.

3. Store emergency numbers in your cell phone — family members you can call for help, television and radio stations where you can get storm information, and responding relief agencies such as the National Disaster Coordinating Council, local government units, local police, local chapter of the Philippine National Red Cross, etc. Keep a hard copy as well in case you run out of battery and need to use the numbers.

4. Keep your cell phone dry. Wrap it in plastic or use cling-wrap for easy use.

5. Pack your charger so that you can easily re-charge your cell phone battery once power is restored or made available via other means such as charging stations of Smart Libreng Tawag Centers.

6. Keep a battery-operated radio handy as well as spare batteries to make sure you stay informed about important news such as evacuation warnings, storm updates, rescue developments, etc. in case electric and communication facilities shut down.

7. Please store food and water good for at least two days just in case your area is flooded and you won’t be able to go to a store or the market.

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