The Sprint Emergency Response Team is on the road in preparation for Hurricane Florence. The teams rolled out of Northern Virginia in their “mobile emergency command centers” – fully equipped with a large inventory of devices such as cell phones, Push-to-Talk handsets, air cards, hotspots, Wi-fi access points, small cell equipment,Sprint Magic Boxes, and other specialized gear. Working with Sprint’s network teams on the ground, the ERT stands ready to assist first responders and public safety officials, government agencies with voice and data services before, during and after Hurricane Florence.
Sprint Assisting Customers Impacted by Hurricane Florence
Sprint announced support for customers impacted by Hurricane Florence and resulting flooding in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia. Effective Sept. 12, 2018, through Sept. 25, 2018, Sprint will waive call, text, and data overage fees for Sprint customers in the affected areas. Customers on Unlimited plans will continue to enjoy their unlimited data, call, and text benefits.
"Hurricane Florence is predicted to be ’the storm of a lifetime’ for the Mid-Atlantic, and we will do everything we can to help our customers in its path," said Sprint CEO Michel Combes. "The last thing we want is for people to worry about how to stay in touch with loved ones or critical services. Sprint’s Emergency Response Team is on the ground monitoring the storm and ready to respond where needs arise."
Sprint Preparations for Hurricane Florence
Hurricane Florence is a serious storm and Sprint will continue to closely watch its path. Preparations have been underway over the last several days to identify recovery resources (such as equipment, fuel, generators, etc.) and their availability in the area. Our recovery teams are on stand-by to ensure personnel are available after Florence makes landfall. And, we’re staging resources such as SatCOLTs (satellite cell sites on light truck) and VSATs (portable satellite systems) inside and outside the projected impacted areas to enable rapid deployment and minimize any disruption of services.
Additional prep ahead of Hurricane Florence
Installed pumps and raised the equipment platforms at flood-prone sites across the area;
Added alarms at sites to help identify water intrusion and address any issues prior to equipment being impacted;
Performed ongoing maintenance, and ensured fixed and portable generators are topped off with fuel;
Reviewed portable generator storage locations and adjusted fleet counts as needed to better support field teams and restoration/recovery efforts;
Continued ongoing upgrades to existing cell sites to leverage all three of Sprint’s spectrum bands – providing a larger coverage footprint, and faster, more reliable service;
Ensured emergency response equipment such as SatCOLTs (satellite cell sites on light truck) and VSATs (portable satellite systems) are ready to deploy during emergency events;
Conducted periodic training and readiness exercises during the year; and
Convened more than a thousand Sprint reservists who are on stand-by and ready to jump into action alongside Sprint’s Emergency Response Team (ERT) during a disaster.
Wireless consumers prepare now and be ready
Make sure you have emergency phone numbers programmed into your mobile devices;
Ensure that you have extra batteries and car-chargers for back-up;
Have a range of different-sized plastic, re-sealable bags on hand to store your technology devices and accessories in the event of flooding;
Stay informed and download storm apps from the Red Cross and FEMA which can provide helpful resources for local area outreach, such as shelter finders and emergency meeting location information;
Always keep your wireless devices charged when possible because of the possibility of commercial power loss during or after a storm; and
Use text messaging when possible during and after a major weather event due to high call volumes and possible network congestion in the local area.