|By Business Wire
|May 30, 2014 04:17 PM EDT
C Spire is using National Hurricane Preparedness Week to put the
finishing touches on efforts to bolster its network and mobilize
employees on the eve of the 2014 Atlantic hurricane season.
The latest National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forecast
calls for as many as eight to 13 named tropical storms to form in the
Atlantic Ocean during the six-month period that officially begins on
June 1. Three to six of those storms could strengthen into hurricanes
with top winds of at least 74 mph and one to two could become major
hurricanes with maximum winds of 111 mph or more.
While the risk this year is expected to be lower thanks to an El Nino
effect, which causes stronger wind shear and reduces the number and
intensity of tropical storms and hurricanes, it’s still important for
residents and businesses to prepare for the worst, according to
forecasters and emergency response officials.
C Spire prepares its extensive wireless network and workforce for a wide
range of potential disasters, including major weather events such as
hurricanes. The company routinely reviews and updates its emergency
preparedness plans and conducts drills throughout the year to test the
readiness of its network, employees and backup systems.
"Our preparations are designed to give customers maximum reliability on
their wireless phones at the time of greatest need," said Eric
Hollingsworth, vice president of Network Operations for C Spire
Wireless. "When disaster strikes, people depend on their wireless phones
as a lifeline to the outside world. We are committed to providing our
customers with the best network coverage possible in every situation.”
Last year was only the third below-normal season in the last 19 years
since 1995 when the current high-activity era for Atlantic hurricanes
began. Fourteen tropical and subtropical storms formed in the Atlantic
basin in 2013, but only two became hurricanes and only one, Tropical
storm Andrea, made U.S. landfall. Andrea spawned tornadoes, heavy rain
and flash flooding in portions of Florida, Georgia and South Carolina,
resulting in one death.
Hollingsworth said the wireless carrier's 1,250-member workforce, along
with the company's extensive network resources, will be on "high alert"
throughout the 2014 hurricane season, which begins June 1 and runs
through Nov. 30. C Spire also stands ready to activate its Emergency
Response Plan, which guides the deployment of company resources and
personnel during a crisis.
C Spire routinely takes precautionary steps and puts restoration teams
on stand by and masses equipment and materials to protect critical
network facilities and cell sites. The company uses back up batteries
and diesel generators at sites and makes arrangements for replacement
fuel supplies in case normal fuel delivery options are interrupted by
commercial power outages.
The company has built two multi-million dollar, hurricane-ready “super
switches” in Mobile, Alabama and in Hattiesburg, Mississippi that
provide added protection and service for customers in south Mississippi,
along the Gulf Coast and in south Alabama and the Florida panhandle.
Both high-tech mobile phone switching facilities, which are designed to
withstand a Category 5 hurricane with winds up to 200 miles an hour,
connect millions of calls, wireless data transmissions and other
critical services daily for consumer and business customers. In addition
to hardened and reinforced shells, the all-steel and concrete structures
house large-scale 500 kilowatt diesel power generators, a grid of back
up batteries and other redundant back-up systems, operations and
"C Spire also relies on an extensive network of microwave technology
that can circumvent damaged or destroyed landline systems and ensure
that wireless calls can be routed to their final destination,"
Hollingsworth said. “This microwave technology is critical to support
communications during natural disasters when landline systems are
inoperable,” he added.
“This infrastructure and our continuing network investments will help
ensure that essential communications continue for our consumer and
business customers even when we experience severe weather and other
life-threatening situations,” Hollingsworth said.
The company is coordinating its emergency response preparations with
local, state and federal agencies, including the Alabama
Emergency Management Agency, the Florida
Division of Emergency Management, the Mississippi
Emergency Management Agency, the office of Mississippi
Gov. Phil Bryant and the Federal
Emergency Management Agency.
About C Spire
C Spire is a diversified telecommunications and technology services
company that provides world-class, customer-inspired wireless
communications, 1 Gigabit consumer Internet access as well as a full
suite of dedicated Internet, wireless, IP Voice, data and cloud services
for businesses. This news release and other announcements are available
For more information about C Spire, visit www.cspire.com or
follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/cspire
or Twitter at www.twitter.com/cspire.
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