Why Cell Phones Went Dead After Hurricane Sandy 15 Nov 2012 After Hurricane Sandy, survivors needed, in addition to safety and power, the ability to communicate. Yet in parts of New York City, mobile communications services were knocked out for days. The problem? The companies that provide them had successfully resisted Federal Communications Commission calls to make emergency preparations, leaving New Yorkers to rely on the carriers' voluntary efforts. We have so far heard few details about why the companies made the particular business choices they did on backup power and what the consequences of those choices were, because the FCC has been blocked from asking -- even though about a third of people rely on mobile service as their only voice-communications connection.