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Smartphones Help Keep Eye on Sky during Severe Weather

Greg Sager, store manager for U.S. Cellular in New Bern
Greg Sager, store manager for U.S. Cellular in New Bern

By Greg Sager, store manager for U.S. Cellular in New Bern

When the skies threaten, people turn to their wireless device for weather updates. An Online Publishers Association report indicates that 47 percent of smartphone owners regularly use it to check the weather.

Your mobile phone helps make life simpler and easier. During severe weather, smartphones give you quick access to a host of apps, websites and emergency information that can help keep you and your family safe and connected

U.S. Cellular customers with select mobile devices, such as the Samsung Galaxy S® 4, receive Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) – also called the Commercial Mobile Alert System (CMAS) – which was created by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Wireless Emergency Alerts provide customers with access to the most up-to-date emergency information at their fingertips. The free alerts are another way customers can stay connected while on-the-go.

U.S. Cellular also recommends the following tips and free apps to prepare you for severe weather:

Have important numbers handy and back them up: With U.S. Cellular’s free My Contacts Backup application, customers can safely store valuable contact information online for easy retrieval, even if the phone is lost or damaged beyond repair.

Break through with texting: If phone service is impacted by a high volume of calls during a storm, try sending a text message. Text messages take up less bandwidth on the network than calls and may work when phone service is intermittent.

Stay up to date with breaking news: There are many free apps available through Google Play – such as The Weather Channel, WeatherBug, MyRadar, GO Weather and AccuWeather for Android – that can provide you with the tools you need to stay on top of severe weather.

Store “ICE” (In Case of Emergency) contacts in your phone: Simply program “ICE” in front of a person’s name or title, such as “ICE Mom” or “ICE Dave,” to help first responders quickly contact these important people. Make sure the ICE contact knows about any medical conditions that could affect emergency treatment for an individual, such as allergies or current medication.

Stay charged up: Phones should be kept charged so that customers have sufficient battery life when they need it. If driving, keep a car charger with you to re-charge while on-the-go.

If you have any questions about downloading or using apps, stop by U.S. Cellular’s next Device Workshop in Clinton on Saturday, June 8 at 9 a.m. at 3180 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

4G LTE service is provided through King Street Wireless, a partner of U.S. Cellular. LTE is a trademark of ETSI.

Submitted by: Mellissa McIntyre, Public Relations Council, U.S. Cellular

Smartphones Help Keep Eye on Sky during Severe Weather