iPhone during Hawaii tsunami evacuation

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by pshifrin, Mar 12, 2011.

  1. pshifrin macrumors 6502


    Mar 14, 2010
    Thought I'd give a little report of the iPhone and iPad during the tsunami evacuation from yesterday. Background: My family and I were visiting Maui from NY. I have a VZ iPhone 4, iPad 3G on AT&T and my wife has an iPhone 3GS. Initially heard about it via CNN breaking news alert on my iPhone. When we realized we were in an evacuation zone I used my iPad to lookup evacuation maps on the Maui county website. We determined best course of action was to head to the west Maui airport, a small airport a few miles away from our hotel. Wikipedia told me the airport was a few hundred feet above sea level so i felt it was a good choice. We headed out both phones were charged 100% and iPad was at 50%.

    Took 25 mins to drive 3 miles cause off all the traffic. We got settled in and spent the next 12 hours in an airport parking lot. To conserve power i turned brightness to minimum (it was dark out anyway).

    Now for the verizon vs AT&T argument. AT&T for the first 2 hours was a complete and utter failure. No one could make a call, text or use data. I heard many people around us complaining. Verizon however was rock solid the entire time. I updated facebook constantly was on the phone etc. Pulling up news and updates and telling people around us. Now obviously this was a unique situation and the systems were overloaded but to me, VZ could handle it and AT&T couldn't. About 2 hours in AT&T came back and I used the iPad for a while to conserve iPhone battery. There was no wifi at this airport.

    One of my facebook friends husband works for the today show so they hooked me up for an interview. Check it out and my iPad and iPhone plugs!


    Another very useful feature of the iPhone was the flashlight app. Like I said this is a small rural airport on the top of the hill with very little lighting. The lines for the two small bathrooms were so long. But not if you have an iPhone flashlight and are willing to walk into the trees at the edge of the property! The flash LED is very bright.

    Anyway, nothing came of the tsunami here and it was certainly an uncomfortable way to spend a night of vacation, especially with a crying 2 year old. The poor little guy pulled an all-nighter!

    Seeing what happened in japan puts it all in perspective though.
  2. UCLAKoolman macrumors 6502a

    Jun 21, 2010
    Very cool story, I'm glad you and your family are safe!

    I'm not sure how many interviews you've done in the past, but you sure said a lot of "uh's" and "um's". Sorry for being critical, I've just been attending/giving presentations this week, and that sort of thing is like nails on a chalk-board.
  3. icyfire macrumors 6502

    Jan 6, 2010
    well goes to show. AT&T just isn't up to the task. Faster data speeds are not going to help you out when you need to make a phone call and the network is broken.
  4. kny3twalker macrumors 65816


    Oct 25, 2009
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_2_6 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8E200 Safari/6533.18.5)

    A little unnecessary there.

    Anyways mentioning your devices was really poor taste but otherwise good interview. This has to be stressful and it's good the device gave you and your family a way to pass the time without focusing on the potential danger.
  5. Interstella5555 macrumors 603


    Jun 30, 2008
    I probably would have just headed up Haleakala, but glad you and your family are ok.
  6. rdowns macrumors Penryn


    Jul 11, 2003
    Yes, because what happens in Maui is indicative of ATT's service in the rest of the US. :rolleyes:
  7. Pink∆Floyd macrumors 68020


    Nov 21, 2009
    Up There
    Care to elaborate on this statement?

    How can a network be "broken"?
  8. Drag'nGT macrumors 68000


    Sep 20, 2008
    I liked your interview. However, I spoke to my aunt and uncle on at&t at different times and never had an issue.
  9. Leet Apple macrumors 6502a

    Leet Apple

    Nov 10, 2009
    Glad Your safe, That shows how reliable Verizon is...its not about how fast AT&T at the end of the day iPhone on Verizon was a smart decision
  10. pshifrin thread starter macrumors 6502


    Mar 14, 2010
    Just for the record:

    I've never done a tv interview so please forgive the ums and ahs. I certainly noticed them myself upon watching it. I had all of 30 seconds to prepare to speak live once they called me.

    I didn't intentionally plug anything... I simply tried to indicate how we got information with no tvs at the location. Using the iPad to access the Maui county government website and the pacific tsunami warning center website kept me well informed.

    Perfect10, I wasn't trying to show off. They called me after seeing a facebook post about our situation. Simply trying to explain the situation we were in, in Hawaii. The interview was about evacuations in Hawaii not the tragedy in Japan which course is horrible.
  11. spy008 macrumors newbie

    May 17, 2010
    The supposed story is that AT&T disabled 3G during this time. The trick was to turn off the "enable 3G" setting. Once you did this the phone worked just fine. But if you weren't listening to the radio when this was announced you probably would never have even thought to do this.
  12. Interstella5555 macrumors 603


    Jun 30, 2008
    In my past 4 or 5 trips to maui in the last year and a half I can tell you that AT&T is excellent there, almost like having a natural disaster and a lot of people overloading the network could cause problems. But that just kind of makes sense, never mind.
  13. saberahul macrumors 68040

    Nov 6, 2008
    I hope everything works out well... hope my prayers reach everyone out there.
  14. vincenz macrumors 601


    Oct 20, 2008
    iPhone and iPad to the rescue! Agree that you should've headed up to Haleakala. No earthquake or tsunami would get you up there.

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