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Phone customers can help maintain service

Public Utility Commission of Texas
1701 N. Congress
P.O. Box 13326
Austin, TX 78711-3326
Fax 512-936-7003

Phone customers can help maintain service
Reliability essential for hurricane preparedness and emergency

Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2005
As Hurricane Rita approaches Texas, the Public Utility Commission (PUC) urges telephone customers to take the following steps to help provide reliable wire line and wireless service during an emergency:

  • Keep non-emergency calls to a minimum. When there is severe weather, many customers will be calling family, friends and business associates to determine if they need help. Limit your calls only to essential ones.
  • Use a landline telephone if available to prevent overloading of wireless services. Cellular systems and towers are not required to provide backup power, so cell phones may not operate during a power outage.
  • Even when there is no basic electricity service, landline phone service may still be working because your local phone company is required to provide backup power for at least four hours. Keep in mind that cordless phones for a landline need electricity and will not work during a power outage. A corded landline phone that plugs directly into a phone jack is more reliable.
  • If you have a wireless phone, use text messaging or Short Messaging Service (SMS) if you can. During emergencies, text messages can be sent and received quicker than voice calls. Text messaging also makes more voice lines available for emergency use.
  • If you use a wireless phone, wait 10 seconds before redialing. If you push the send button after ending a call to redial the previous number, the data from your wireless phone to cellular sites do not have enough time to clear. This can increase network congestion.
    All PUC News Releases are available at www.puc.state.tx.us
    Contact: Terry Hadley 512-936-7135, Pager: 512-322-1457