Hurricane Ian impact: Major cell phone carriers working to provide service to Florida customers

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Analysts expect Hurricane Ian to create $70 billion worth of damage

Florida State University business professor Chuck Nyce joined ‘Kennedy’ to discuss the costs associated with hurricanes and how much damage Hurricane Ian could cost home and property owners. 

When major weather events hit, like Hurricane Ian, local services like power and communications go down, sometimes for days at a time.

Major wireless carriers have announcing plans to help customers in Florida retain service during the crisis.

Verizon's crisis response team is providing free communications support to public safety agencies responding to the hurricane, setting up portable cell sites, Wi-Fi hotspots, free charging stations and other services.

Verizon residential and small-business customers in areas hit by Ian will receive unlimited calling, texting and data through Oct. 4.

HURRICANE IAN DOWNGRADED TO CATEGORY 1, MORE THAN 2 MILLION FLORIDA RESIDENTS WITHOUT POWER

A tree is uprooted by strong winds as Hurricane Ian churns to the south on September 28, 2022, in Sarasota, Florida. (Sean Rayford/Getty Images / Getty Images)

"Hurricane Ian has already disrupted the lives of millions of Floridians," Shawn Alexander, Verizon consumer vice president, said in a statement. "We hope this offer gives our customers one less thing to worry about so they can focus on staying safe."

Prepaid and postpaid accounts with billing addresses in affected areas are automatically included. Customers should check their ZIP codes for eligibility, according to the carrier.

In this photo illustration Verizon Wireless logo seen displayed on a smartphone and in the background.  (Igor Golovniov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images / Getty Images)

AT&T is waiving talk, text and data overage changes for both prepaid and billed customers impacted by the storm. The program covers customers in more than 800 affected Florida ZIP codes through Oct. 28. 

Customers may still receive alerts, AT&T said in a statement Wednesday, but accounts will reflect the credits and/or waived fees.

HURRICANE IAN POWER OUTAGES IN FLORIDA REACH 2 MILLION AS STORM MAKES LANDFALL

AT&T is offering free services to people in Florida impacted by Hurricane Ian. (iStock)

"Our priority is to keep our customers connected, and we know this need is even greater before, during and after any major storm event," AT&T said in a statement. "While we've been working hard to prepare our network in advance of the hurricane, we want our customers to know we'll also support them if they experience any impacts from the storm."

T-Mobile is also offering unlimited talk, text and data through Oct. 3 for those expected to be impacted by the hurricane.

The company's network and engineering teams are monitoring the hurricane's impact and preparing portable generators and temporary network solutions.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
TAT&T INC.15.82+0.08+0.51%
VZVERIZON COMMUNICATIONS INC.39.36+0.46+1.18%
TMUST-MOBILE US INC.135.52+2.84+2.14%

Mobile command centers, Wi-Fi trailers and other support equipment will also be deployed to emergency shelters when it's safe to do so.

More than 2 million people were without power in Florida as of Wednesday night as Hurricane Ian lashed the state. 

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The major storm made landfall Wednesday afternoon as a Category 4 hurricane. It has since been downgraded to a Category 1 as of late Wednesday night.

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