The 2019 Hurricane Season, which officially begins June 1, is off to an early start with one storm already named – subtropical storm Andrea – and more than a dozen predicted by forecasters. In preparation for storms this year, Sprint (NYSE: S) has already taken a number of actions to strengthen its network in hurricane-prone cities and states, and support the restoration and recovery efforts following a major weather event:
- Continued network investment including upgrades to existing cell sites to leverage all three of Sprint’s spectrum bands – providing a larger coverage footprint, faster, more reliable service than before, and deployment of outdoor small cell technology
- Conducted multiple hurricane preparedness exercises across the Gulf and Atlantic states over the last year
- Upgraded entire fleet of SatCOLTs (satellite cell sites on light truck) to improve efficiencies during disaster deployments
- Expanded satellite ground-based infrastructure and Mobile Command Vehicle fleet for field operations support
- Strengthened and expanded relationships across the life-line sectors, fostering cross-sector collaboration and coordination to help improve community preparedness, mitigation, response and recovery capabilities
- Improved operational readiness of fixed and portable generators
- Increased redundancy at cell sites with improved backhaul design and evolution
- Enhanced Sprint’s internal Disaster Recovery Tool to improve the mapping function and ability to fine-tune the area impacted by a storm
- Convened Sprint reservists who are on stand-by and ready to jump into action alongside Sprint’s Emergency Response Team (ERT) during a disaster
“After several busy hurricane seasons over the last few years, we know it’s never too early to start planning. So, we’ve taken numerous actions ahead of the 2019 season to prepare,” said Joe Meyer, Sprint vice president, Network Service Assurance. “More than ever, our customers rely on wireless communications during times of disaster, which is why keeping our customers connected is among our first priorities. In preparation, we have invested in new and upgraded cell sites, new disaster management systems, and continued training for our people, all of which makes our network stronger and more reliable.”
Sprint also encourages its customers to ensure they have a plan of action before a hurricane or other major storm hits. The company recommends wireless users take the following steps to help prepare before, during and after a storm this season:
- Write down important telephone numbers such as medical services, insurance company and friends and family on paper, seal it in a plastic bag, and keep it in a safe place in the event your device loses power.
- Keep mobile devices and batteries fully charged in case of commercial power loss.
- When not in use, conserve your device’s battery by powering off.
- During a major weather event, use text messaging when possible due to high call volumes and possible network congestion in the local area.
- Stay informed before, during and after a major storm by following @Sprint, @SprintCare and @SprintNews on Twitter. Also, visit the Sprint Newsroom or Community Pagefor regular updates. Sprint will keep its customers up-to-date with alerts and information on the network.