September 11, 2008
Sprint Prepared for Hurricane Ike in Texas
As residents along the Texas coast prepare for possible landfall from Hurricane Ike, Sprint (NYSE:S) is staging backup generators, Cell Sites on Wheels (COWS), Satellite Cell on Light Trucks (SatCOLTS) and personnel in strategic locations along the Gulf Coast to manage potential service impacts.
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.
"Sprint plays a crucial role in our hurricane preparedness," said Cameron County Judge Carlos H. Cascos, CPA. "They work hand-in-hand with our staff to ensure reliable communication with local first responders. Sprint provides instant connections in an emergency with the Sprint Go-Kit, as well as wireless phones and connection cards. Cameron County can always count on Sprint before, during and after a storm."
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. During the first six months of 2008, Sprint invested more than $67.8 million in network enhancements throughout Texas. 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.
The Sprint Emergency Response Team (ERT) is prepared to assist first responders, enterprise organizations and relief agencies with communication devices including Nextel Direct Connect(R) handsets with Direct Connect(R) and Direct Talk(sm) and additional SatCOLTS. Direct Talk(sm) enabled handsets can communicate off-network via push-to-talk with other Direct Talk(sm)-capable handsets completely independent of any wireless network. Another critical resource Sprint provides public sector and first responder teams is the Sprint ERT's Go-Kit(TM). These kits provide business and first responders immediate access to mobile communications tools for emergencies, including fully-charged cell phones and wireless Broadband cards. These devices have a dedicated hotline for instant activation as needed.
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.