Are You Prepared for Hurricane Season?
It’s time to think ahead. To plan, prepare and stay connected for both when you know the storm is coming and when the unexpected happens.
When local networks are down or out of reach, Iridium makes sure you can text when you want to and make a call when you need to.
Local communications networks are often the first to stop working when a hurricane, tornado, flood or other natural disaster hits, and often they stay down for quite some time.
Hurricanes that struck the United States and Puerto Rico alone in 2017 and 2018 (Harvey, Irma and Maria – 2017, and Florence and Michael – 2018) caused significant and in some cases long-term outages.
- According to FCC records, in 2018, 70% of the wireless sites in two Florida counties (Bay and Gulf) were still not working one full week after Hurricane Michael hit.
- In Puerto Rico, after Hurricane Maria in 2017, many residents were left without cellphone service for months, while typically it takes days or weeks to repair.
- In the aftermath of Hurricane Irma in 2017, 35% of respondents in a survey done by MDPI “Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute” lost a cell phone and internet service for more than two days, nearly 14.2% remained without cell phone service or internet for two to three days, 11.6% between four and six days and 9.3% for more than seven days. (MDPI)
Step 1. Select the Right Equipment
Selecting the right equipment is the all-important first step. MetOcean Telematics is a leading Iridium® Value Added Reseller offering a wide array of in stock and ready to deploy transceivers and hardware for the Iridium® global satellite network.
Below are some options to consider when selecting equipment and all are available for purchase online:
- Iridium 9555 Handset – A sleek portable handset that is voice and circuit switched data capable
- Iridium Extreme 9575 – A rugged portable handset that you can take anywhere
- Iridium GO! – A hotspot creates the ﬁrst ever reliable global connection for voice and data communications on your smartphone or up to 5 mobile devices
- 9555 Iridium Satellite Phone Connected Not Stranded Bundle – Everything you need to ensure you are ready for an emergency situation. An Iridium 9555 Satellite Phone and 200 included minutes valid for 6 months
Step 2. Make Sure Batteries are Charged
The right equipment is key during hurricane season, and so are the batteries that power those devices. Ensure that your batteries have a full charge and that you have extra in case of an emergency situation. If you need to charge multiple batteries or replace your existing batteries contact firstname.lastname@example.org for replacement battery options and charger kits.
In addition to traditional charger kits, MetOcean Telematics provides solar charging solutions that ensure your Iridium equipment is always charged and ready to go.
Step 3. Activate SIM Cards and Air Time
Active SIM Cards and Air Time are essential to make sure you can connect in emergency situations. You can purchase post-paid SIM cards and airtime plans or go with the pre-paid SIM card option. If using pre-paid SIM cards make sure the minutes are valid and you have enough for emergency situations. MetOcean Telematics offers Iridium airtime for every type of Iridium equipment.
Step 4. Test the Equipment
If you are all set up with active SIM cards and a postpaid airtime or pre-paid SIM cards make sure you test your Iridium phones. Test calls are FREE so you won’t be using any of your airtime when testing a phone on the Iridium network.
When testing your Satellite equipment follow the steps below:
- Go outside with a clear view of the sky, 360 degrees around you and with visibility down to 8 degrees above the horizon. This is the ideal user location but if that isn’t possible you can still test, but you may have intermittent signal at times.
- Extend the Iridium satellite antenna
- Turn on the phone
- Hold the phone in the correct way with the antenna pointing straight up at the sky – vertical
Go outside, with a good clear view of the sky as shown: Open Sky 360* around you and with visibility down to 8* above the horizon. That’s the ideal user location. It is not always possible to have the perfect view of the sky, and that’s ok, but realize you may have intermittent signal at times.
Do not hold the phone in this way, the antenna mostly horizontal, which will not give you the best reception.
- Wait until the phone Registers to Iridium Network
- Dial the following FREE Test Your Phone Number: +1 480 752 5105 and push the SEND/Green Button
- Test FREE e-mail to the screen of the phone, a ‘fix-to-Iridium’ e-mail.
- Email text only with no attachment, no signatures. 160 bytes (alphanumeric) from a smartphone, tablet or PC as follows:
- 1st you need the Iridium telephone number or 8816 xxxxxxxx number
- Then address the email as shown: email@example.com (no spaces)
- Type the 160 bytes in the body of the email
Step 5. Download the Disaster Preparedness Checklist
Whether you live in disaster-prone areas or not, there is always a chance for the unexpected to happen. Be responsible. Be informed. Plan ahead. Download this emergency kit with a step-by-step guide for Iridium satellite communications and some tips on how to prepare for an emergency.
If you have any questions on how to make sure your Iridium equipment is ready for Hurricane season, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.