With Hurricane Harvey threatening heavy rainfall in Texas and parts of Louisiana, Sprint has made extensive preparations to help keep its wireless customers connected. Some of the measures Sprint has taken to prepare include:
- Investing millions of dollars in new cell site equipment, back-up batteries and greater fiber backhaul across Gulf Coast states like Louisiana and Texas.
- Utilizing established Disaster Recovery yards throughout the region to store and stage assets for response during an event.
- Performing routine maintenance checks and fueling fixed and portable generators in the event of commercial power fails.
- Pre-staging vehicles and crews across Texas in anticipation of the storm.
- Standing ready to deploy incident management teams, as needed, to assess impacted areas and inspect local wireless networks after the event.
- Additionally, Sprint stores in Texas are offering discounted charging accessories in areas impacted by the storm.
Customers can check the Sprint Store Locator to confirm which stores near them are open. It is recommended that customers first call the store to verify it is open and check the local conditions before traveling to stores.
Sprint Emergency Response Team
Sprint’s Emergency Response Team has activated its Disaster Support Program which allows for state and local government agencies, in states that have issued a proclamation for a State of Emergency in anticipation of Hurricane Harvey, to request up to 25 mobile devices, with up to 14 days of service from the date of declaration, free of charge to these agencies.
In addition, Sprint ERT maintains approximately 10,000 devices in its inventory. Other government, tribal, non-governmental, healthcare and private sector organizations requiring temporary equipment, such as handsets and mobile broadband devices, that do not qualify for the Disaster Support Program, can request additional temporary use equipment and service through Sprint ERT’s rental program.
Storm Preparation Tips
To help wireless consumers prepare for a storm this season, Sprint offers these tips to help ensure residents in the path of Hurricane Harvey stay safe:
- Keep wireless phones and backup batteries charged, but be aware that an interruption of wireline and commercial power could affect wireless calls.
- If possible, have extra batteries on hand and charged.
- In times of commercial power outages, a car adapter for your wireless phone should enable you to recharge the battery.
- Keep phones and necessary accessories in a sealed plastic bag to avoid water damage during flooding.
- Load family and emergency numbers into your wireless phone.
- Use your Sprint camera phone to take digital pictures or video of your property and valuables before the storm hits. Upload the images to your cloud so you have “before” pictures in the event of any storm damage.
- Wireless networks sometimes experience heavy traffic during emergency events, so remember to send a text message.
Store these emergency and weather-related apps on your phones:
- In Case of Emergency (ICE) – This app provides EMTs with critical personal and medical data including name, important notification telephone numbers, blood type, allergies, physician’s name and number, and existing medical conditions.
- First Aid – American Red Cross – This app offers concise, clear instructions with advice on offering first aid. It includes illustrations, videos and step-by-step advice that show how to take the necessary action in the correct order.
- 911 Help SMS – Shows family members your location when you’re calling 911 for help via text and email.
- WeatherBug – Find out the current local weather, hourly and seven-day forecasts. WeatherBug features live neighborhood weather updates from weather stations across the U.S.–including NWS weather alerts such as tornado warnings.
- Storm Radar with NOAA Weather & Severe Warning – Interactive map with 8 hours of high-definition past to future radar, advanced storm cell tracking, and real-time severe weather alerts. View current weather conditions or daily and hourly forecasts.
“We have taken the steps to ensure that the Sprint network in Texas has been prepared for moments like this,” said John Stevens, Sprint Regional President for Central Texas. “We have an emergency response team deployed to the impacted areas, and our primary focus remains on ensuring that our customers, employees and the communities that we serve remain safe and connected.”
“We are ready to respond to Hurricane Harvey,” said Jon Blitz, Sprint President for the South Central Region. “Ahead of hurricane season, our teams have been preparing our network across Louisiana with the goal of making sure our wireless customers can stay connected to friends and family.”
“Sprint has hundreds of fixed and portable generators currently available throughout Houston, San Antonio, South Texas, and Louisiana, in the event of any commercial power outages,” said Mike Hennigan, regional vice president – Network at Sprint. “We are ready to deploy COWs (Cells on Wheels) and COLTs (Cells on Light Trucks) to any areas impacted by the storm and in need of additional wireless capacity.”