Customers encouraged to prepare their mobile devices for Irene’s impact
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (BUSINESS WIRE), August 25, 2011 – As residents along the Atlantic Coast of the United States prepare for Hurricane Irene’s landfall as a possible Category 4 storm, Sprint (NYSE:S, news, filings) is gearing up its network disaster recovery teams and resources for impending power outages, flooding and other impacts that can result from a weather event of this nature, along with:
- Actively monitoring and tracking Hurricane Irene’s path in relation to Sprint’s wireless and wireline properties along the coasts of South Carolina, North Carolina, the Mid-Atlantic, the Northeast and New England.
- Strategically staging portable generators to rapidly offset loss of commercial power to its cell towers and switches, and Cell Sites on Wheels (COWs) to provide immediate restoration of wireless service in the event of power outages and other damage.
In addition to network enhancements made in hurricane-prone states and other areas, Sprint has permanent generators installed at all of its wireless and wireline switches to immediately neutralize loss of commercial power. Switches are the network components where wireless data and calls are routed to their final destination.
At its hub in Sterling, Va. – about 30 miles outside of Washington, D.C. – the Sprint Emergency Response Team (ERT) has assembled personnel and assets from its centers in Florida, Texas and Kansas City, Mo. to rapidly provide voice and data services to first responders and public safety officials, including:
- Satellite Cell on Light Trucks (SatCOLTs) for immediate restoration of wireless voice, data, IP and location-based services.
- ERT Go-Kits, which provide a cache of handsets, mobile broadband devices and critical accessories that can be stored in strategic locations and activated quickly during emergencies.
- An inventory of more than 25,000 fully charged Sprint and Nextel Direct Connect® mobile phones that are available for rent and instant activation during disaster events.
Established in response to the events of 9/11 nearly ten years ago, the Sprint ERT maintains a 24-hour hotline, 365 days a year, to rapidly address client needs and, during times of state and federally declared natural disasters, provides mobile devices and wireless service free of charge for 14 days to state and local agencies assisting with the response efforts. Since its creation in 2002, Sprint ERT has conducted more than 4,800 deployments and provided emergency wireless support for more than 1,250 events.
Sprint is also encouraging wireless users to ready themselves for the potential loss of power and flooding with the following tips:
- Send text messages when possible. Wireless networks sometimes experience heavy call traffic during emergency events. In the same general time period it takes to complete a call, approximately 30 to 50 text messages can be transmitted.
- Charge and backup. Keep your wireless phone and extra batteries charged, have a car charger or adapter on hand, and load family and emergency numbers into your wireless phone, but be aware that an interruption of wireline services and commercial power could affect wireless calls.
- Prepare for flooding. Keep phones and necessary accessories in a sealed plastic bag to avoid water damage.
- Use mobile applications and social media. Hundreds of emergency, news, weather, and social media applications from the Android Market™, BlackBerry App World™ or GetJar.com can be loaded to mobile phones and tablets to stay up to date on Hurricane Irene’s path and impact.
For more information about Sprint’s hurricane preparation efforts, retail store closings or to learn what you can do to prepare for a major storm, visit www.sprint.com/hurricaneinformation.
About Sprint Nextel
Sprint Nextel offers a comprehensive range of wireless and wireline communications services bringing the freedom of mobility to consumers, businesses and government users. Sprint Nextel served more than 52 million customers at the end of 2Q 2011 and is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including the first wireless 4G service from a national carrier in the United States; offering industry-leading mobile data services, leading prepaid brands including Virgin Mobile USA, Boost Mobile, and Assurance Wireless; instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. Newsweek ranked Sprint No. 6 in its 2010 Green Rankings, listing it as one of the nation’s greenest companies, the highest of any telecommunications company. You can learn more and visit Sprint at www.sprint.com or www.facebook.com/sprint and www.twitter.com/sprint.
Crystal Davis, 571-288-6806