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How cellphone companies prepare for hurricanes

AP

One of the big differences between Hurricane Sandy and Hurricane Harvey was the level of cellphone service customers were able to access during the storms.

The numbers: "25% of cell sites were down during Sandy compared to 5% down during Harvey," CTIA chief Meredith Attwell Baker said in an interview. "That's a significant resiliency improvement."

One company's response: T-Mobile COO Mike Sievert said that the company knows just how important cell phones are to its customers during a disaster and does everything it can — from hardening its network gear, to offering free service in the wake of disasters or delivering free phones to those whose phones are lost or damaged.

"It really matters to (customers) whether you can keep that service going," Baker said. "By and large we did."