3/2/12 – Smartphones can help strike back during Severe Weather

Severe Weather Awareness Week Runs from March 12 – 16 in Missouri

Columbia, Mo., March 2, 2012 – Last year, severe weather caused devastation across the country. There were 1,897 tornadoes reported in the United States during 2011. Those twisters led to the second-highest annual total of confirmed fatalities inU.S. history.

People have turned to smartphones in an effort to stay ahead of changing weather conditions. A recent survey commissioned by CTIA-The Wireless Association indicated that 32 percent of women said checking the weather is a function they used to perform on a computer that they now almost solely fulfill on their mobile devices.

“During threatening weather conditions, smartphones give you fast access to a host of applications, Internet sites and emergency information that can help keep you and your family safe and connected,” said Nathan Waddell, director of sales for U.S. Cellular in Missouri.

With the severe weather season around the corner, this may be the right time to upgrade your device to help ensure its there and working when you need it. Right now, U.S. Cellular is offering $100 off activation when customers switch to U.S. Cellular. Current customers could get a free phone or faster upgrade when they use their Rewards points.

In recognition of Severe Weather Awareness Week from March 12 – 16 in Missouri, U.S. Cellular recommends the following tips and free applications when the skies threaten this spring and summer:

Stay charged up: Phones should be charged daily, so that customers have sufficient battery life when they need it. If driving, keep a car charger with you to re-charge while on-the-go. If a battery starts to run out, U.S. Cellular customers can switch out a dead or dying battery for free at any U.S. Cellular store through the company’s Battery Swap program.

Have important numbers handy and back them up: Keep all the numbers for local emergency contacts and immediate family stored in a cell phone for easy access in an emergency. With U.S. Cellular’s free My Contacts Backup application, customers can safely store valuable contact information online for easy retrieval, even if the phone is lost or damaged beyond repair.

Break through with texting: If phone service is disrupted by a high volume of calls during a storm, try sending a text message. Text messages take up less bandwidth than calls and often work when phone service is disrupted.

Rely on your phone to access applications: There are many free applications in the Android Market – such as The Weather Channel, WeatherBug, GO Weather and AccuWeather – that can provide you with the tools you need to stay on top of severe weather.

Review your safety plan: If you have a severe weather safety plan, review it with your family. You should make sure everyone knows what to do if a tornado or severe thunderstorm strikes. Parents should know where everyone will be during the day and make it clear what to do if severe weather impacts your location. Families and businesses should practice a tornado drill at least once a year.

Remember 30/30 lightning safety rule: Go indoors if, after seeing lightning, you cannot count to 30 before hearing thunder. People should stay indoors for 30 minutes after they hear the last clap of thunder.

About U.S. Cellular
U.S. Cellular rewards its customers with unmatched benefits and industry-leading innovations designed to elevate the customer experience. The Chicago-based carrier has a strong lineup of cutting-edge devices that are all backed by its high-speed nationwide network that has the highest call quality of any national carrier. U.S. Cellular was named a J.D. Power and Associates 2011 Customer Service Champion and received PC Magazine’s 2011 Readers’ Choice Award. To learn more about U.S. Cellular, visit one of its retail stores or uscellular.com. To get the latest news, promos and videos, connect with U.S. Cellular on Facebook.com/uscellular, Twitter.com/uscellular and YouTube.com/uscellularcorp.



For more information, contact:

Susan Newsham