Skip Navigation
Blog

Blog

October 16, 2018

The Wireless Industry Responds to Hurricane Michael .

The Wireless Industry Responds to Hurricane Michael

Share

In advance of Hurricane Michael, wireless carriers prepared for the storm by fortifying existing networks and staging teams that could immediately deploy afterwards for recovery and response.

When it made landfall on October 10, the high-end Category 4 hurricane was the third-strongest to ever strike the United States mainland, and the most powerful ever recorded in the Florida panhandle. More than 170 Wireless Emergency Alerts were sent with life-saving information before, during and after impact.

Network restoration happened quickly in the vast majority of areas impacted by Hurricane Michael. The percentage of cell sites in service in the affected area — as defined by FCC disaster reporting — rose from approximately 81% on October 11 to 97% on October 17.

However, with sustained winds of 155 miles per hour, Hurricane Michael inflicted tornado-like damage on communities at ground zero. Thousands of structures were destroyed, critical infrastructure was damaged and millions of Americans lost power.

In times of need, connections are crucial, so our members’ teams continue to work around the clock to bring back service and have deployed dozens of portable units in cases where restoration of power is delayed due to extensive damage.

Millions of people have used wireless to call and text loved ones and connect with emergency personnel through social media, and carriers offered free data, text, voice and credits to consumers across the region. In addition to services on the ground, carriers pledged millions of dollars to relief efforts.

For up to date information on the wireless industry’s response to Hurricane Michael, visit the links below:

In The News

Images from Michael

Photo

@dseale1023: T-Mobile was on the ground restoring cell service less than 12 hours after Hurricane Michael hit. The team is doing an awesome job.

Photo

Elizabeth Hanson, right, and her daughter, Emaly Hanson hug their neighbor, Cindy Clark on October 11. Their homes in Mexico Beach, Florida, were heavily damaged by the storm. Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Photo

@KateHarrisJay: A Tactical Command Trailer, complete with a conference room, workstations and satellite connectivity, is onsite to support the @PCBeachPolice during #HurricaneMichael recovery and response.

Photo

@TheRilReport: All at once, our phones in the newsroom goes off with the alert of flash flood warning due to #Michael

Photo

Sprint's Emergency Response Team deployed mobile cellular infrastructure in response to Hurricane Michael. (Sprint)

Photo

@FirstNetGov: Working with State of Florida, public safety agencies without commercial service were identified & provided hundreds of @FirstNet-enabled devices to help these #FirstResponders carry out their important mission in response to #HurricaneMichael

Photo

@TMobile: We're committed to assisting those with relief efforts due to hurricane, even after the event. We are continuing to monitor the area, however we have sent out portable generators, Cells on Wheels (COWS), and more.

Photo

People watch Hurricane Michael Oct. 10, 2018 in Panama City, Fla. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)

Photo

@ATT: We know how critical communications are to rescue and recovery efforts. Our priority is keeping our customers connected. #HurricaneMichael

Photo

@fema: If you're still trying to get in touch w/loved ones after #Michael, don't give up. Crews are working hard to restore power & cell coverage.

Photo

Santional Morgan, uses his cellphone while he has his hair braided by his wife Gabrielle. They sit by a lantern with their daughter Isabella, 3 months., in their room at the damaged American Quality Lodge where they continue to live without power in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael in Panama City, Fla., Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2018. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Photo

@HansVestberg_; We continue to make progress restoring our network damaged by #HurricaneMichael. Our latest network update is now posted. @Verizon crews are working day and night in dangerous conditions to repair fiber cuts & bring you back online. This is our #1 priority https://vz.to/2CBoNpO

Photo

@SprintsERT: Sprint's Emergency Response Team working around the clock providing critical voice and data services to Bay Co. Sheriff's Office, EOC, and their Co Data Center as well as to Sacred Heart Hospital in Port St. Joe. #HurricaneMichael #Sprint

Photo

The moon shines above as Nola Davis sits in her car charging her cell phone outside the damaged American Quality Lodge where she continues to live without power in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael, in Panama City, Fla., Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2018. Simply getting through the day is a struggle at the low-rent motel where dozens of people are living in squalor amid destruction left by the hurricane. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Photo

@KateHarrisJay: #Verizon is deploying 5 SPOTs (Satellite Pico Cell on a Trailer) - a mobile cell site that utilizes satellite connectivity - to support first responders and public safety officials who are working on #HurricaneMichael response & recovery efforts in the hardest hit areas.

Photo

@SprintsERT: Sprint's Emergency Response Team working around the clock providing critical voice and data services to Bay Co. Sheriff's Office, EOC, and their Co Data Center as well as to Sacred Heart Hospital in Port St. Joe. #HurricaneMichael #Sprint

Photo

@ATT: Our team is setup in Mexico Beach with a SatCOLT helping to restore service in the immediate and surrounding areas. #HurricaneMichael

Photo

Samantha Martinez uses her cellphone to document the damage in her garage as she returns home for the first time since Hurricane Michael hit Mexico Beach, Fla., Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2018. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Photo

@NevilleRay: We’re ready to respond to any outages from Hurricane Michael as soon as it’s safe to do so & @TMobile has enabled free call/text/data in Fla. Anyone who wants to help can donate by text to @RedCross and @VolunteerFla. Stay safe, Florida!

Photo

Rescue personnel perform a search in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael in Mexico Beach, Fla., Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Photo

@SprintsERT: Sprint's Emergency Response Team working around the clock providing critical voice and data services to Bay Co. Sheriff's Office, EOC, and their Co Data Center as well as to Sacred Heart Hospital in Port St. Joe. #HurricaneMichael #Sprint

Resources

Everything Wireless™

CTIA Mobile Minute™ Subscription

Get features on wireless products and services by email.
1400 16th St NW #600, Washington, DC 20036(202) 736-3200
Copyright © CTIA 2019. All rights reserved.

Get in Touch