Sprint says it is ready to help customers stay connected and mitigate impact to its network if a hurricane makes U.S. landfall during the 2016 hurricane season which runs from June 1 to November 30.
On the eve of the season, many weather experts are predicting an active tropical storm season with an increase in activity as compared to the past three seasons. Sprint’s experienced Emergency Response Team stands ready, having provided voice, broadband data, cellular, and satellite infrastructure for more than 6,100 crisis and special events since 2001.
“Wireless communication during and after a storm is vital,” said Joe Meyer, vice president, Sprint Network Performance. “Our customers and first responders can be confident in relying on Sprint during an emergency. Our extensive planning and preparedness for storms and other crisis-related events enables us to quickly respond and restore any impacted services.”
Advance Preparation for Hurricane Season
In order to protect its wireless networks from the impact of a tropical storm and help keep customers connected during a natural disaster, Sprint has taken various preparedness measures, including:
- Investing billions of dollars in coastal states from Maine to Texas, including investment in new cell site equipment, batteries, and greater fiber backhaul.
- Installing hundreds of permanent generators with automatic cutover switches in communities along the Gulf coast to minimize impacts from commercial power failures during a storm.
- Delivering new portable generators to coastal areas for site restoration.
- Performing routine maintenance checks and fuel top-offs on fixed and portable generators.
- Pre-staging rapidly deployable mobile satellite infrastructure in high-risk locations.
- Conducting emergency readiness exercises to help ensure engineering and operations teams, the Emergency Response Team, and other functional incident management groups are prepared.
Immediate Storm Response
Once an event occurs, Sprint’s Enterprise Incident Management Team will move quickly to:
- Assess impacted areas from a local engineering command center.
- Inspect the local wireless network after landfall to assess damage.
- Work with local public safety and power company officials to coordinate damage repair and recovery efforts.
- Provide any local public safety government agency in states where an official “state of emergency” has been declared with emergency communications assistance, including 14 days of service free of charge for up to 25 Sprint ERT wireless devices.