August 28, 2006
Sprint Nextel Ready for Tropical Storm Ernesto's Impact
Sprint Nextel offers storm preparation tips to residents in Ernesto's projected path
Nanci Schwartz, Sprint, 352-326-1326
Travis Sowders, Sprint, 202-487-5103
For more information visit:
RESTON, Va. — 08/28/2006
Sprint Nextel (NYSE: S) today said it is prepared for the potential impact of Tropical Storm Ernesto, which currently is clocking 40 mph sustained winds and threatening to regain hurricane status after leaving eastern Cuba later today. The National Weather Service has issued a Hurricane Watch for the entire southeast coast of Florida, meaning that hurricane conditions are possible within the next 36 hours, with a Florida landfall expected Tuesday evening.
Sprint Nextel crews are standing by with pre-staged mobile generators and supplies, ready to respond to any damage brought by the storm. "Sprint Nextel's team is ready to respond should Tropical Storm Ernesto impact our networks. We have the resources in place to mobilize as needed," said Bob Halcrow, Sprint Nextel area vice president in Florida.
"Once we ensure the well being and safety of our employees, we allocate the resources needed to reestablish our services allowing customers to communicate with their family members or contact emergency services by voice or text messaging or their Nextel Walkie-Talkie," said Halcrow.
"Sprint Nextel's restoration plan includes assigning resources to Southeast Georgia and the Carolina coast as the forecast track for Ernesto extends beyond Florida. Our dedicated employees are ready to respond to those communities that are impacted by this storm."
At the beginning of the hurricane season, the company announced it was investing approximately $100 million for hurricane preparations in storm-prone coastal communities across the South. This investment includes the installation of permanent generators for approximately 800 critical wireless cell sites and network facilities on the company's Global IP Network and wireless networks in Florida.
In addition, the investment funds the purchase of portable generators, SatCOWs (Satellite Cell on Wheels) and SatCOLTs (Satellite Cell on Light Trucks) which can be deployed as part of the company's disaster response and recovery.
Network improvements are just one element in Sprint Nextel's preparation for the 2006 hurricane season. The Sprint Nextel Business Continuity Office (BCO) oversees the company's emergency planning, response and recovery efforts. In preparation for the newly begun hurricane season, the BCO in cooperation with Sprint Nextel's network team has held a series of company-wide incident management workshops that validate Sprint Nextel's readiness for this storm, future hurricanes and other potential crisis situations.
Sprint Nextel's Emergency Response Team (ERT) also is available nationally 24/7 and provides communications capabilities and technical expertise to city, state and federal emergency workers, as well as utilities and other necessary infrastructure organizations. Public Safety officials interested in requesting ERT assistance should call the Sprint Nextel Public Safety Call Center at (888) 639-0020 or 1-254-295-2220 for GETS users. Operators are available 24/7.
Consumer Tips on Preparing for Tropical Storm Ernesto
- Keep your wireless phone and backup batteries charged if a storm is approaching, but be aware that an interruption of wire line service and commercial power also could affect wireless calls.
- In times of commercial power outages, a car charger for your wireless phone should enable you to recharge the battery.
- Keep extra phones and accessories in a sealed plastic bag to avoid water damage.
- Load family emergency numbers into your wireless phone and keep a copy of the numbers in your sealed plastic bag. Make sure those who need it have your wireless number.
- In situations where some portions of the wireless network have been impacted by power outages or damage from a storm, text messages might be able to get through where voice calls can't.
- Use your Sprint PCS Camera phone to take digital pictures or video of your property and valuables before the storm hits. Upload the images to your personal pictures inbox on www.sprint.com and you have "before" pictures in the event of any storm damage.
- Stay Informed! Check out hurricanetrack.com and weather.com for weather information and get the latest news updates from MobiTV or CNN.com. Sprint Power Vision customers can access their own, customized content via the "On Demand" with pre-set localized information. Also remember that a Sprint Mobile Broadband Connection Card can keep you connected to critical information via your laptop or hand-held personal digital assistant.
About Sprint Nextel
Sprint Nextel offers a comprehensive range of communications services bringing mobility to consumer, business and government customers. Sprint Nextel is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including two robust wireless networks offering industry leading mobile data services; instant national and international walkie-talkie capabilities; and an award-winning and global Tier 1 Internet backbone. For more information, visit www.sprint.com.