Internet and Cellphone Preparations and Best Practices for Hurricane and Storm Season
Industry association launches awareness campaign and new website at telecomprepare.ca to help Canadians prepare for extreme weather events
OTTAWA, ON – September 14, 2023 – As Atlantic Canadians gear up for possible extreme weather this weekend, the Canadian Telecommunications Association is encouraging them to take steps to prepare for potential power outages and other impacts from storms that can affect their use of telecommunications services.
The association is launching an awareness campaign sharing important tips and best practices that should be followed before a storm hits, as well as actions that should be taken during a storm and in its aftermath.
“Extreme weather events such as hurricanes, wildfires, and snow and ice storms are becoming more commonplace, endangering Canadians and damaging property,” said Canadian Telecommunications Association President and CEO, Robert Ghiz. “While telecommunications providers are continually investing to strengthen their networks to better withstand these types of events, power supply, poles, cables, and other equipment can still be impacted, sometimes affecting network performance or even causing temporary service outages. That is why we are recommending that individuals take the necessary precautions that can help them stay connected when it matters most.”
Some of the best practices include:
Before a storm:
- Monitor the weather and be ready for emergency alerts.
- Prepare for power outages by fully charging your devices.
- Have backup power supply that can power essential communications equipment like your internet modem, Wi-Fi router, and cordless phone.
- Determine if your phone or phone service rely on your home power supply and consider a backup power supply if they do.
During a storm and in the immediate aftermath:
- Preserve device battery power, such as by reducing the screen brightness and turning off Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and location-based services when you don’t need them.
- Help reduce network congestion by using SMS/texting or email to connect with others and do not use your mobile phone to make phone calls unless it is an emergency.
- If you must make a phone call, keep your conversation as short as possible, and if your call is not connected wait at least 10 seconds before redialing.
- Do not use mobile wireless networks for data-intensive uses, like streaming video or non-emergency related internet use.
When calling 9-1-1:
- If you have a working landline phone and a mobile phone, use the landline phone to help reduce traffic on mobile networks.
- Mobile phone service is designed for 9-1-1 calls to default to whatever wireless network is available, so calling 9-1-1 on your mobile phone may still be possible even if your service provider does not have an operational cell tower nearby or your phone does not have a SIM card.
- 9-1-1 calls may take longer to connect due to increased network congestion following an emergency. If your call is not immediately connected, wait a few seconds to allow your device to make a connection. If your call is not connected, hang up and wait 10 seconds before redialing. Do not immediately redial.
- If you are still unable to successfully place a 9-1-1 call, try removing or turning off your device’s SIM card. In rare circumstances, the presence of the SIM card may prevent your device from connecting to an alternative service provider’s network.
Initially targeting Atlantic Canada, the association’s awareness campaign will include, print, and online ads running across the Atlantic provinces over the next four weeks, as well as the launch of a new website dedicated to sharing best practices.
For more information, visit telecomprepare.ca
- Preparing for Severe Weather Events & Other Emergencies
- Responding to Extreme Weather and other Natural Disasters
About the Canadian Telecommunications Association
The Canadian Telecommunications Association is dedicated to building a better future for Canadians through connectivity. Our members include service providers, equipment manufacturers, and other organizations in the telecommunications ecosystem, that invest in, build, maintain and operate Canada’s world-class telecommunications networks. Through our advocacy initiatives, research, and events, we work to promote the importance of telecommunications to Canada’s economic growth and social development and advocate for policies that foster investment, innovation, and positive outcomes for consumers. We also facilitate industry initiatives, such as the Mobile Giving Foundation Canada, Canadian Common Short Codes, STAC and wirelessaccessibility.ca.
Canadian Telecommunications Association