RIDGELAND, Miss., May 6, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- In conjunction with National Hurricane Preparedness Week, C Spire's bolstered network and highly-trained staff is ready to respond to emergencies and widespread natural disasters if they occur this summer during the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season.
The initial outlook from Colorado State University, considered one of the nation's top forecasters, calls for a slightly below average season with 13 tropical storms (wind speeds of 39 mph or higher) and five hurricanes (74 mph or higher winds) forming in the Atlantic Ocean during the six-month period that officially begins on Friday, June 1.
C Spire hardens its extensive wireless and wireline networks and prepares its workforce for a wide range of potential disasters, including major weather events such as hurricanes. The company routinely reviews and updates its emergency preparedness and crisis communications plans and conducts drills throughout the year to test the readiness of its network and employees.
"Our preparations are designed to give customers maximum reliability for all of their communications at the time of greatest need," said Mark Rigney, Senior Vice President of Core Network for C Spire. "When disaster strikes, people depend on telecommunications as a lifeline to the outside world. We are committed to providing our customers with the best network coverage possible in every situation."
2018 was considered an above average season with 15 named storms and eight hurricanes, two of which were considered major, including Florence, which dropped nearly 36 inches of rain on North Carolina, and Michael, whose 155-mile-per-hour winds battered the Florida panhandle and produced 39 fatalities and $16 billion in damages.
2019 has already proven to be an unprecedented year for severe weather with record rainfall, historical backwater flooding in the Mississippi Delta and an alarming number of tornadoes. With two federal disaster declarations and two more pending for Mississippi, first responders are preparing for the worst during the upcoming hurricane season.
"These destructive and deadly weather events are stark reminders of how powerful Mother Nature can be," said Greg Michel, executive director of the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency. "It's important for everyone to remain vigilant and stay prepared. Pay attention to weather warnings, evacuation notices, check your evacuation kits and develop an evacuation plan before a disaster happens. The Boy Scout motto holds true – be prepared," he added.
Rigney said all C Spire employees and contractors, along with an extensive suite of network resources, will be on "high alert" throughout the 2019 hurricane season, which begins June 1 and runs through Nov. 30. The company also is ready to activate its Emergency Response and Crisis Communications plans, which guide the use of resources and personnel during a crisis and the overall response to a natural disaster.
C Spire routinely takes precautionary steps and puts restoration teams through various training and test scenarios and masses equipment and materials to protect critical network facilities and cell sites. The company uses back up batteries and diesel generators at mobile sites and switching centers and makes arrangements for replacement fuel supplies in case normal fuel delivery options are interrupted by commercial power outages or road closures.
The company operates multiple hurricane-ready "super switches" that provide added protection and service assurance for customers. The high-tech telecommunications switching facilities are designed to withstand a Category 5 hurricane with winds up to 155 miles an hour, connect millions of calls, wireless data transmissions, video content and other critical services daily for consumer and business customers. In addition to hardened and reinforced shells, the all-steel and concrete buildings house large-scale 500-kilowatt diesel power generators, a grid of back up batteries and other redundant back-up systems, operations and technologies.
Some of the structures feature a 9-inch think external steel-reinforced precast concrete walls welded to 6-foot-wide spread footings. In addition to multiple redundant power feeds, the buildings also boast giant diesel generators each capable of producing 1.65 megawatts of continuous power, enough to light thousands of homes and businesses.
C Spire also relies on an extensive network of microwave technology that can circumvent damaged or destroyed landline systems and ensure that communications can be routed to their final destination, Rigney said. "Microwave technology can assist with communications during natural disasters when landline systems are down," he added.
In addition, C Spire offers companies of all sizes a suite of disaster recovery and business continuity services through commercial data centers that operate 24/7/365 with the industry's highest design, construction and operation certification through the Uptime Institute.
"This infrastructure, our continuing network investments and our dedicated, customer-inspired workforce will help ensure that essential communications continue for our consumer and business customers even when we experience severe weather events, natural disasters and other life-threatening situations," Rigney said.
The company is coordinating its emergency response efforts with local, state and federal agencies and organizations, including the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency, the Alabama Emergency Management Agency, the Florida Division of Emergency Management, the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Weather Service, the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army.
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, cloud and managed IT services for businesses and enterprises. This news release and other announcements are available at www.cspire.com/news. 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.
SOURCE C Spire