As smartphones’ capabilities continue to expand, it’s easy to take for granted the cellular networks they rely on to talk, text and access the Internet.
But during hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, wildfires and other natural disasters, cell towers are vulnerable. Increases in call volume linked to the disaster often cause network congestion, making communication difficult. After Superstorm Sandy struck the eastern seaboard in 2012, for example, carrier overload blocked many users from getting information through cellular devices.
When cell service is down, FM radio stations serve as a lifeline, broadcasting vital evacuation instructions, weather updates, and other information to affected communities.
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