January 09, 2013
For as much as we have come to rely on our cell phones for news and information, the cell towers, infrastructure and networks they require to communicate are extremely vulnerable. This susceptibility comes from various threats ranging from solar flares and software glitches to storm-toppled cell towers and long power outages.
Superstorm Sandy is an example of just how fragile cellular network communication can be. Many New Yorkers were left without cell phone service after Sandy left about one in four cell towers inoperable. Add to that the extended loss of power with no way to charge phone batteries and communication becomes difficult if not impossible. Hurricane Katrina also exposed communication challenges and the potential for cellular network system failure giving us valuable lessons to learn.
Weather alert radios broadcast emergency alerts from NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards transmitters on seven VHF frequencies from 162.400 MHz to 162.550 MHz. No cell phone tower is required to transmit the information.