September 3, 2008
Sprint Actively Preparing for Hanna’s Impact
Sprint (NYSE:S) today said it is preparing for the potential impact of Hurricane Hanna threatening to make landfall along the Atlantic coast on Friday. At the same time, Sprint's network teams are working around the clock assessing the situation in Louisiana following Hurricane Gustav and moving in portable generators as needed.
As it does for every impending tropical storm or hurricane, Sprint has staged backup generators and personnel in strategic locations in the Southeast to manage potential service impacts. In addition, a Sprint Service and Repair Van is ready to travel to the impacted markets and assist customers with their wireless needs including providing service and repair, accessories, back-up batteries and phone calls to connect with family and friends.In 2007, Sprint invested $59 million for hurricane preparations in storm-prone coastal communities and installed permanent generators at more than 1,300 sites throughout the Southeast. This investment included the installation of permanent generators for critical wireless sites and network facilities as well as investment in additional portable generators and Cell Sites on Wheels (COWs) - mobile cell sites that can be deployed in impacted areas to restore service quickly. In addition, through the first six months of 2008, Sprint has invested more than $63 million for network enhancements throughout Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina.
Customers can take proactive steps before the storm hits. Sprint offers the following consumer tips to prepare for a possible landfall:
-- Keep your wireless phone and backup batteries charged, but be aware that an interruption of wireline and commercial power could affect wireless calls.
-- If possible, get extra batteries and charge them.
-- 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.
-- Load family and emergency numbers into your wireless phone.
-- Wireless networks sometimes experience heavy traffic during emergency events, so remember to use Nextel Direct Connect(R) or send a text message, if those features are available on your phone.
"During the 2005 hurricane season, Sprint was able to effectively manage resources and restoration efforts for Hurricane Katrina, Rita and Wilma. We learned some valuable lessons from the 2005 season and have implemented even more robust strategic preparations since then," said Richard Blanc, vice president of network for Sprint. "When seconds or moments matter, customers often turn to their Sprint Nextel phones first. We want to reassure our customers that we are actively working to restore service for those impacted by Hurricane Gustav and closely monitoring the pending storm Hurricane Hanna. Ensuring optimal communication services to our customers when they need it most is a key priority."
For more information about Sprint Nextel hurricane preparation efforts, or to learn what you can do to prepare for a major storm, visit: www.sprint.com/hurricaneinformation.
Broadcast editors: Broadcast quality video is available of how Nextel Direct Connect calls are routed through the Sprint network, what happens to a wireless network during a mass calling event and the importance of the ERT for emergency communications.
http://vnr.vccmedia.com user: vnr pw: download
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 wireless networks serving nearly 52 million customers at the end of the second quarter 2008; industry-leading mobile data services; instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. For more information, visit www.sprint.com.