Just chatted with Viasat rep to see if they were going to open up data stream for those affected in Hurricane Barry areas,!

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Just chatted with Viasat rep to see if they were going to open up data stream for those affected in Hurricane Barry areas, of course they said No! Data plans remain the same!
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terry

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Posted 5 months ago

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Will Seemore

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What did you expect? Satellite isn't going to work in a downpour anyway. Are you a new customer?
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terry

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Ahh duh, there’s openings, their called bands! Are you a a Hurricane moron?
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J&J

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Oh goodness... Do enlighten us about those "bands" that ViaSat has just waiting to be utilized. 
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Stephen Rice, Champion

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I believe he is referring to storm bands.
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Stephen Rice, Champion

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Why would you expect them to open up bandwidth? I am close to Baton Rouge and there is a strong possibility infrastructure will go down.

Fortunately, my Viasat service will still work providing the wind doesn’t knock the dish out of alignment.

I was thinking of canceling my Viasat service when my two year contract expires next month but this storm has me considering keeping the service.

Should internet and phones go down, I will be one of the few people who can still communicate. You don’t need unlimited bandwidth for that.
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J&J

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You're a smart man Stephen Rice. I still have a ViaSat account myself but don't use it anymore for the very reason you just stated.  My primary Internet now comes from a mountain above San Jose named Loma Prietta and that place has suffered it's share of outages from fire, wind, and general mishaps.  If it has to work, better have a backup.
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terry

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True, just threw it out there as a nice PR for company!
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Will Seemore

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You really think Viasat cares about their reputation the way they treat residential customers?
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Bob Lexus

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I am merely curious terry, what are you suggesting would be the benefit to those affected by the storm to have Viasat "open up data stream"?
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terry

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Nice, PR like telephone companies are providing unlimited text, telephone data for those affected the next 4 days!!!
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Stephen Rice, Champion

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I saw the same AT&T advertisement and thought how useless it would be. Last storm like this, AT&T was offline for several days. What good would have unlimited been back then?
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ExSatUser

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It really is the weekend!

But you might want the backup generator Stephen. And wireless can stay up in storms provided a) the tower dont go down and b) the generator doesnt run out of gas!
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Stephen Rice, Champion

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You've obviously never experienced hurricane Katrina.  Most wireless phones didn't work for almost a month.  I was without electricity for a couple of weeks.

I have lots of food, plenty of water, two generators and my house is in an area that has never flooded.  I keep roughly a years worth of provisions year round.  When there is warning of a storm, other people panic while I sort of sit back and relax.

My parent's got five feet of water in their house back in 2016.  I know all about being prepared.  I've seen my area turn into a shit hole before and this won't be the first time.  Of course, hopefully nothing happens.  We should know sometime this evening or early Sunday morning.

Some of you made fun of me when I downloaded the entire Wikipedia in preparations for the zombie apocalypse.  This is my zombie apocalypse.
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ExSatUser

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This latest storm is mostly media hype IMHO. Fits their narrative. Regardless, be safe!
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Stephen Rice, Champion

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I believe it is hype too. 

The Tickfaw River at Holden is projected to reach 21 feet on Wednesday.  Back in August 2016 it was projected to reach 26 feet and reached 22.16 feet instead.  At 22.16 feet, my parent's got five feet of water in their house.

Before that, the river reached 20.23 feet in March 2016.  My parent's got five inches of water in their house then.

Needless to say, if the river actually reaches 21 feet, my parent's will get water in their house.  Hopefully the national weather service is over predicting the flood stage and it stays below 19 feet.
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ExSatUser

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Media needs hype for ratings!
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Stephen Rice, Champion

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The media controls the national weather service?  I just got word from a friend that there is flooding in Mandeville.  
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Stephen Rice, Champion

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I guess the media controls the power companies too.  Lots of people in my region are suddenly without power.

Fortunately my house is still fine and dandy.  Time to go put some clothes in the drier just in case the power goes out for me too.
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ExSatUser

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Dont get me wrong. It is a tropical storm. But we are not talking a cat 3 hurricane here. I mean, I doubt we see the flooding Houston got.
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Stephen Rice, Champion

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Back in 2016, Baton Rouge experienced far worse flooding than what went on in Houston.  Many people still haven't recovered from the Louisiana flood of 2016. 

There are two reason's we didn't make the headlines back then.

1. It wasn't a named storm.

2. Two politicians were busy bickering over who would be the next President.
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Ron Frank

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Please do not be fooled by the numbers!  The number system is based solely on wind speed.  It is not only possible but quite common for an un named tropical depression to carry as much or more moisture than a full blown cat 5.

Born and raised in coastal New England Im no stranger to storms, but not like people associate with "the south."  We got the storm surge and relentless rain usually without the wind and tornadoes.  Flooding is a real issue.   "Superstorm Sandy" was not even a hurricane when it made landfall in New Jersey.  It was so big when it hit Ohio it was still picking up moisture off the Atlantic.
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Stephen Rice, Champion

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Amen.
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ExSatUser

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Flooding is a problem in Louisana because the state is always underwater :).

It is not called the Bayou state for nothing.
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terry

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I just thought it would be a good gesture from the company, help those affected. Don’t make it anymore than that!
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Stephen Rice, Champion

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My parrents house is way above sea level. The issue was a drainage problem last time, not elevation related.
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ExSatUser

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Well you did list it as an idea. It was certainly a unique request to ask.
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Stephen Rice, Champion

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Viasat could do a lot of things to improve their image but offering "unlimited' bandwidth to existing customers in storm affected areas is not one of them.  It would just result in network congestion and more people complaining.  

One of the last things you want during an emergency is increase network congestion.  I think AT&T's decision to offer unlimited services to all customers at no extra charge is a mistake.

If anything, there should be restrictions on what people can use a wireless network for during a disaster in order to free up communications for first responders.
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fmj77

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It isn't always media hype. The blizzard forecast to hit my area last December was everything they said it would be. 2 feet of heavy wet snow and no power for nearly 2 days with temps in the 20s and 30s.
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Stephen Rice, Champion

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Something like 80k people in my area are without electricity as we speak.  I'm always prepared for stuff like this.  I plan to have fresh biscuits in the morning, whether or not I have electricity.  Life is good.
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Ron Frank

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Honestly, I agree it would be a good "PR" gesture, but nothing more.  People in a disaster situation need things of real value, survival items like food, water, shelter, then would come things like electricity and transportation.

AT&T is basically pulling a preemptive strike, they are a MUCH bigger company with their fingers in many aspects of communications that are land based systems and will go down.  They need all the good press they can get before finger pointing starts. 

I dont have to worry about my house flooding up here on the ridge, if I do Noah better have his ark built!  But I do have to deal with power outages and it floods here all the time and when it does I am pretty much stuck here on my ridge or drive 100 miles out of my way to get someplace on high ground.  Luckily here it comes up fast and goes down fast.  3 to 5 feet of fast moving water is common and the state route below me has been known to be under 25 feet or more.  When I first moved here there was still debris hanging from the power lines from the big flood of 05.
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fmj77

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Stephen, I'm guessing you have a standby generator?
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ExSatUser

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I am sure he does. I myself do too. I use to have dual internet, but not worth it to give Viasat more money for the service I was getting it. I do run three Verizon accounts though. If the tower goes out I can still ping another tower, just not as fast but good enough in case of emergency.
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Ron Frank

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I need to get my generator up and running.  In winter we are fine with everything natural gas but in summer food storage and A/C becomes an issue  Whens it HOT and HUMID I cant breathe.  We have heat, light, a 1500 gallon tank of water.  We get by without power when needed it just gets BORING!

Someday I want an automatic whole home generator.  Long as my gas well keeps pumping Ill have power.
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fmj77

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Ron, mine is a Generac standby whole home generator that I've got running on propane. As long as I keep my tanks full I've got power for about 2 weeks. Having that thing installed is the best money I've ever spent.
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Ron Frank

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My obstacles are money obviously, and my electrical system is HORRIBLE and the whole house needs rewired and bumped up to 200 amp box for the generator ... MORE MONEY!

The one consolation to living here is free gas.  No way I could heat this old place otherwise!  2 stories, 9 ft ceilings with no insulation  LMAO!  Gas heat, hot water, and stove, heck if I wanted I could find a natty gas refrigerator.  The house was plumbed for gas lights  but thats all abandoned now.

My welder and big compressor sit in my barn rotting away.  They run on 220, NOTHING in this house is 220.  Even my well pump is 110.  My little generator does fine but burns gasoline and  finding gas becomes an issue way out here in a bad storm.  Even little country stations with generators out here keep their lights and coolers running, but not their gas pumps.
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fmj77

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How do you get free gas?
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Ron Frank

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From the gas well across the road LOL  Previous owner had 2 of em.  One is sold to the gas company, the other supplies this house and the house next door.
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ExSatUser

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Yep. Free gas here too. 3 wells on my parents at one time. One right above my house I tapped into.
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fmj77

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That's nice. Don't have to worry about heat or no hot water. I pay about $1000 per year for my propane, depending on fluctuating prices.
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ExSatUser

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That's crazy!!! I can't imagine paying that much for home fuel.

You need to dig some gems out of your yard to help pay for that!
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fmj77

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Yep. And propane is relatively cheap compared to kerosene. I know folks who pay quite a bit more than me each winter. I have a wood stove too so it helps save on gas during cold spells. Plenty of free firewood in the woods near my home.
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Ron Frank

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$1000 a YEAR for propane BWAHAHAHA!   Told you I am originally from NEW ENGLAND where they have REAL winter!  15 years ago when I left I paid $1200 a month rent and had oil heat.  Jan and Feb it was nothing to blow through a full tank, 275 gallons in 3 - 4 weeks at $4 a gallon  THATS WHY I LEFT!   I made GOOD money and living there I have nothing to show for it.

Dad begs me to move back east to NY and be near him ... on Social Security I CANT AFFORD TO LIVE THERE
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Stephen Rice, Champion

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I do not have a stand by generator.  In my opinion, spending money on one of those things for home use is a waste of money.  Not only are you faced with the upfront cost, you are also faced with maintenance to ensure the thing works when you need it.

Back in 2008 we were without electricity for a couple of weeks.  I overheard my neighbor's wife saying, "This is ridiculous, I can't live like this!" referring to not having electricity.  The neighbor went out and spent $10k on getting a house generator installed while the power was still out.  Roughly one hour after the generator was installed, power came back on for the whole street.  From my perspective, it was pretty freaking amusing.

As I mentioned before, I have two generators. 

One is a 4k watt generator with electric start.  This generator only gets used when my parents evacuate to my house.  It is good enough to run dad's oxygen machine along with the television and a few other small items.

The second generator is an 1800 watt manual start.  When it is just me, this is the generator that gets used.  It is big enough to power a small window AC along with a few other small items.  I have never tried it with the television however it powers my internet equipment just fine.

Going overboard wanting to run your whole house as if nothing ever happened is ridiculous.  The bigger the generator the more fuel it costs to run.  That is why I prefer to use my 1800 watt generator over the 4k watt one.

I learned my lesson the hard way years ago when I spent $200 in fuel to keep a refrigerator running for weeks to save $50 in groceries.  I will never do that again.  I have an ice chest and lots of ice on standby.

I don't even need electricity to cook.  I can cook just fine on my Alocs alcohol stove.

The main thing I need a generator for is to run a small window AC when power goes out on a hot summer day.  Temperatures in Louisiana can be brutal.
(Edited)
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aabbcc

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Verizon let us have free data for a couple days after we were declared a disaster area with the storm in March in Nebraska (many, many bridges, roads, houses, businesses, cattle, fields, washed out/destroyed over much of the state, many still out, looks like more now but missed that one thankfully).

I have a propane floor furnace that doesn't need electricity to run.  It has a millivolt thermostat, and heats the house.  I've got a little canning propane range in the back room if needed.  I spend roughly $600/year on propane, usually under that.  I do have an "infinite" amount of firewood, but I figure at around $100 or less/month for the winter, convenience is worth that.  It averages that even with the -20 degree days, trees block 99% of the wind from most strong directions.  House is about 1800 sq. ft, but I don't heat a couple rooms unless I'm using them.  For water, I've got windmills.  If there's a storm that takes out power for days, it's usually in winter.  I don't bother with a generator.  I throw fridge stuff outside, freezer stuff too, if not, I don't have a high dollar amount of stuff to lose.  I do have an old pto generator if I'd "need" to, but usually I'm not able to be in the house much anyway, usually during the 40+mph below freezing days when it's off, don't miss not having electricity I guess, since I don't really need it much.  Record in the last decade was about 4 days, others were off weeks, not too far away.  Didn't even lose electricity this last storm.  Just couldn't drive to the highway (or anywhere) for almost two weeks. 

Canned stuff, probably could last me a couple years if need be.
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fmj77

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Stephen, I spent around $3000 total for my standby. It works great. I have hot water, AC, everything runs fine when the power goes out. I can even wash and dry clothes with no problem. It's cheap and easy to maintain too. The portable that I had couldn't run everything at once, especially stuff on 220v. Plus, I had to go out in bad weather and crank the damn thing and pray that the carburetor wasn't clogged up.
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Stephen Rice, Champion

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Thats good you were able to get a decent price.  My neighbor paid the storm premium price to hush his wife.

A full house generator isn't for me though.  I start mine up every month or so and when I do need a new carburetor, its only $13 on eBay.  
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fmj77

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I suppose it was my fault. I should've drained the gas tank and the carb on the portable when I wasn't using it. I was too lazy though.
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Stephen Rice, Champion

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I never drain my generators.  I simply run them once a month and shut off the fuel valve to let the carburetor run dry after it has ran for ten minutes or so.
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Ron Frank

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The downpour passes in a few hours, but what about the days or weeks your dish or your house is under water, and if you dont flood, what about the days or weeks you have no power?

I think Netflix would be the last thing on my mind.  Just sayin.
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ExSatUser

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There is always gaming. Once IPv6 is supported by Viasat of course.
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Steve Frederick-VS1/Beam314, Champion

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Terry, just where do you think that Viasat will be able to get this "extra bandwidth" for the folks affected by the storm?  The beam you are on already has all  the bandwidth available to the subscribers in the beams path. Viasat cannot just create extra bandwidth, the satellite is 22,500 miles above the equator, not something that dispatching a service truck can just go up there.

I love my weekends.
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Harvey Mueller

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Open up for what? Everyone already gets Unlimited
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ExSatUser

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Limited unlimited. I think he asked for unlimited unlimited data!
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ExSatUser

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Back to the media hype. Article straight from the Bayou describes what I was talking about...
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ExSatUser

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Back to the media hype. Article straight from the Bayou describes what I was talking about...

https://www.bayoubrief.com/2019/07/12...
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fmj77

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Never trust a story from the Washington Compost. It's always exaggerated.


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Will Seemore

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You mean the paper that even fills their sports page with their left wing political views? My girlfriend gets the Sunday addition, it isn't fit to line a bird cage.
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ExSatUser

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Not to mention all the trees that gave up their life to be turned into crap!
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Brad, Viasat Employee

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Official Response
First and foremost I do hope all affected by Barry are safe and will remain so in the coming days.

As for any natural disaster (fire, hurricane, etc) we do have a process in place to work with those affected, a team that I help a lot with flags those accounts affected but usually that's after an area is declared in a state of emergency and we conduct an audit of zipcodes affected. More or less we encourage agents to treat those accounts a bit more carefully since the person on the other end could potentially have lost a home or something along that scale. If they have a liberty plan we'll probably toss a few GB of data on but provided you have electricity still running and the satellite is still in alignment it should continue to work as it did prior to the storm.

 Our blog does have a few posts of a storm last year or 2 years ago of the satellite service working during it and helping first responders during a hurricane. A lot of the context of it will be related to what Stephen mentioned above (hope you're doing well sir) in that our service tends to stay on compared to a lot of times when a storm like this hits and takes out cellular services and landlines provided winds don't knock it out. Sometimes it could take a few days for those services to be restored so we were able to help people stay connected during that time and we hope that this is holding true now as well.

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Stephen Rice, Champion

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Thanks for the kind words.  Everything is pretty much back to normal around here.  

My parents were concerned about their house flooding due to the Tickfaw River at Holden being predicted to reach 21 feet.  Their house floods if the river reaches 20 feet.  Last night the prediction changed to 19.5 feet and this morning the prediction dropped to 2.5 feet.  

Needless to say, we aren't worried anymore and the parents are back home.

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ExSatUser

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That's good. Glad everything okay!

But dont worry. The media will move on to the next weather hype shortly
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Ron Frank

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SMH Media hype OMG!  I think the Columbus stations are the worst.  They will literally skip the forecast for the next 3 days to focus on a "projected" storm coming later in the week.  The reporters start doing remote feeds of different agencies "preparing" for a storm and pulling up archived stories of the devastation from past storms.

They are already talking about Barry hitting us mid week.  
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ExSatUser

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Yep. Instill worry and panic. Same comes to winter storms.

Then when the storm is a bust, they wonder why people get tired of the media calling wolf.
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Stephen Rice, Champion

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I heard this storm was created by the government. Something about them wanting to keep as many people away from Area 51 as possible. It looks like they failed.
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ExSatUser

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Area 51 is old news.  Everyone knows we are up to area 55 now.
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Stephen Rice, Champion

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Barry ain’t nothin.
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Harvey Mueller

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Never let a potential story of devastation die. They'll find a 20 yr old rotten fence that blowed over or a clogged storm drain overflowing and tout massive hurricane damage. Oh and ya just gotta get the shot standing in front of the wobbling stop sign. No coverage is complete without it.
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GabeU, Champion

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It's not bad weather without the wobbling stop sign.  Everybody knows that!  LOL.  
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mferner

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A couple years ago we had a hurricane come up the whole state of FL and alot of ppl on my beam was without power for a week including me but I had a generator and my speed was blazing fast cause there wasnt very many ppl able to get on viasat!