October 24, 2007
Sprint Responds to Wildfires with Support for Customers and Evacuees
SAN DIEGO, Oct 24, 2007 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- As residents in southern California continue to face the challenges of the local wildfires, Sprint (NYSE:S) is helping those displaced by this disaster by providing tools and support to stay connected. More and more individuals in affected areas are using wireless devices to connect with friends, family and support networks and Sprint is assisting by providing needed services and items that may have been left behind in an evacuation:
- Customers evacuated to Qualcomm Stadium can obtain free universal wireless phone batteries from Sprint. The company is distributing up to 2,000 of the batteries based on need.
- A Sprint support tent is stationed at Qualcomm Stadium and staff is on hand to charge phones, assist with free calls, and provide wireless high-speed internet access and calling cards. The company is expanding its support to the Del Mar evacuation center.
- At Sprint retail stores in the area, customers can receive a 50 percent discount on wall chargers, car chargers and batteries this week. Customers can also place free phone calls at these stores.
"Our customers are priority one and we want them to know we're here to help," said Region President Mike Finley. "While our networks continue to perform at high levels, allowing call traffic to flow, we continue to monitor the situation closely. We were first on the scene with communications support at Qualcomm evacuation center and we will continue to support the southern California community and provide relief by doing what we do best - connecting individuals with the ones they love."
To further support those affected by the wildfires, Sprint is donating $50,000 to the Red Cross. The company also is prepared with its Sprint Emergency Response Team (ERT) - a team that, when created in 2002, was an industry-first and provides critical communications and personnel to assist first responders with relief efforts. The ERT's Rapid Deployment Services can deploy additional Satellite Cell on Light Trucks (SatCOLTS) to help facilitate communications among relief and response agencies. ERT staff members are pre-staged in the state to assist in disaster response efforts.
Sprint also offers these preparedness tips for those forced to evacuate:
- Keep your wireless phone and extra backup batteries charged if evacuation is a possibility, but be aware that an interruption of commercial power and wireline service 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. In the event of an evacuation, bring your wall charger with you as well.
- Keep extra phones and accessories in a sealed plastic bag to help avoid 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 fire, text messages might be able to get through where voice calls can't.
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 is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including two robust wireless networks serving 54 million customers at the end of the second quarter 2007; industry-leading mobile data services; instant national and international walkie-talkie capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. For more information, visit www.sprint.com.
SOURCE: Sprint Nextel Sprint Kathleen Dunleavy, 310-709-3689 Kathleen.Dunleavy@sprint.com or Stephanie Vinge-Walsh, 310-213-0039 Stephanie.firstname.lastname@example.org