NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WRKN) – While local cell phone carriers like Verizon and AT&T are making preparations for the influx of people and the drain on satellite and cellular bandwidth for total solar eclipse, there is still every possibility supply will be overtaken by demand.
So, how do you prepare for a day that will go dark and potentially leave you without enough bars to post that selfie, send a text of the #bestcoronaever, or Snapchat you mooning over the sun?
Have a plan. Let your family, friends, and co-workers know your intended destination and when they should expect you home.
And if you can’t make a call? Keep your phone. Your phone leaves a data trail that is stored with your service provider and indicates the last time you attempted to place a call, even if the call didn’t go through. This can help emergency personnel pinpoint your location even if you can’t get a call out.
If you’ve tried to reach 911 and still can’t get a call through, keep your phone on. Before your phone sends out the call, it makes contact with the closest tower: a concept called a digital handshake. And thanks to the FCC, network providers must transmit a 911 call regardless of whether you use their service or not.
And when the cellular network is crowded, a text may have a better chance at slipping through than a call, because it takes less bandwidth to transmit.
To save your battery life, dim the brightness and turn off any extra features like WiFi, Bluetooth, and any open applications, and keep the phone in a cool place.
Store your emergency contact in your phone as “ICE,” which stands for In Case of Emergency, before your emergency contact person’s name, so first responders will know who to contact if you can’t tell them yourself.
So be sure to remember, when hundreds of thousands of people are in a limited geographic area, access wireless networks and cell phone service may also get eclipsed.