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Limit Phone Calls During Emergencies, FCC Says

Photo: Vadim Grinco

Echoing advice from the Federal Emergency Management Agency ahead of Hurricane Irene, the Federal Communications Commission advised consumers to limit phone calls during emergencies Saturday.

The FCC warned consumers that more people try to use wireless and landline telephones during emergencies, creating network congestion.

The FCC recommended keeping non-emergency calls brief, freeing up networks for emergency communication and saving battery power for wireless phones.

“If possible try a variety of communications services if you are unsuccessful in getting through with one,” the FCC said. “For example, if you are unsuccessful in getting through on your wireless phone, try a messaging capability like text messaging or email.”

Echoing FEMA’s advice ahead of Hurricane Irene, the FCC also recommended consumers use local radio and television as their primary source of information.

Cell phone networks were heavily congested during Tuesday’s earthquake on the east coast, prompting an FCC investigation into why some 911 calls did not go through.

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