U.S. telecoms brace for Wilma's arrival

October 22, 2005

Scores of technicians and linemen are on standby once again in the Gulf Coast region as Hurricane Wilma takes aim on Florida.

Cingular Wireless said Friday it had dispatched repair crews, portable cell towers, generators and fuel to Florida for rapid deployment into areas where cell service may be disrupted by Wilma's weekend fury.

Operators are urging people to limit their conversations so that emergency calls can get through and to use text messaging whenever possible since texting requires less time and bandwidth than voice calls.

In addition, customers are urged to charge up their phones while they still have electricity and have 911 and other important numbers programmed into their handsets.

Customers with wireless access should be able to use their phones to monitor weather reports should their televisions lose power.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

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