Cellular South's wireless communications network sustained minimal damage as a result of the severe storms and at least one
tornado that swept through central Mississippi late Wednesday and early Thursday.
of the Mississippi-based company's 500 cell sites in central
Mississippi were operating without any problems, although five are on
back up generators and three are experiencing call completion problems
caused by heavy rains and winds that knocked out landline
telecommunications facilities, according to Trey Howard, director of
Network Operations for Cellular South.
Here are some storm reminders for cell phone users:
- Be sure to keep your cell phone charged.
- A car charger, battery booster or other form of charger such as the fuel cell Medis 24-7 is good to have. During a power outage its important to have another way to charge your cell phone.
text messages to save bandwidth - frequently during a disaster the cell
tower traffic can get overloaded. Sending text takes far less
bandwidth and can notify your loved ones without tying up resources.
- Store important numbers in your cell phone, you won't have time to look them up.
- If your primary phone number is a landline, make sure you have phone that does not require power, a simple dial phone.
- Water can damage phones, try to keep them out of the rain as well in something waterproof.
you may not be able to carry a lot with you if you are evacuated, you
can store your important documents on a USB drive or microSD card. You
should always store files off site by some method, in case water damages your computer.
Cellular South worked with other telecommunications
providers to get service restored at the seven sites - two in southern
Madison County and one in Rankin County near Brandon - as soon as
possible today. "Although we have a handful of sites affected by the
storm, the impact on our customers is very minimal because of the way
we engineer our network for optimal service and redundancy," he said.
Cellular South service in one of the hardest hit areas - the Simpson County town of Magee - was not affected by an
early morning tornado that touched down on the north side of the town, which is located 40 miles southeast of Jackson. "Our
customers continue to be able to place and receive calls on their mobile phones without interruption in this area," he said.
A company retail store located at 1667 Simpson Highway 49 in Magee opened for business as on Thursday, but was on a
back up generator due to the loss of commercial power.
company dispatched technicians in hard-hit areas to monitor cell
sites until commercial power and landline telecommunications services
are restored, Howard said. "Our customers depend on their cell phones
and a reliable network to communicate with loved ones during and after
a storm like this one," he said. "We are determined to live up to their
trust and to be the network they can count on in any situation."
In response to a request from the American Red Cross, the company loaned phones to the emergency relief organization
to support an emergency shelter and begin relief operations in Magee and other impacted areas.