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September 20, 2020

The Wireless Industry Responds to Hurricane Sally .

The Wireless Industry Responds to Hurricane Sally

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Hurricane Sally hit areas around Mobile, Alabama and Pensacola, Florida on September 16 as a Category 2 (winds up to 105 mph), bringing tornadoes, storm surge and flooding as it slowly moved inland. Public officials sent more than 150 Wireless Emergency Alerts with critical, life-saving information about tornadoes, flooding and evacuation orders to wireless consumers in Sally’s path.

Despite the scope and impact of Hurricane Sally, wireless providers were able to maintain the majority of cell sites and quickly restore service to most cell sites within 24 hours of the storm passing through the affected areas. Specifically, 73% of cell sites remained operational throughout the affected areas of Alabama and improved to 91% within 24 hours after Hurricane Sally passed. Similarly, 82% of cell sites remained operational throughout the affected areas of Florida and improved to 96% within 24 hours after the storm passed.

The Mobile and Pensacola communities are still recovering from Sally’s impact, and some areas remain inaccessible because of flooding and downed trees and power lines. Wireless providers have brought in heavy machinery to clear roadways and restore accessibility and were able to get multiple sites back in service using satellite technology as a temporary alternative to fiber. Engineers are also surveying cell sites for damage and found numerous broken or misdirected antennas, resulting from hurricane-force winds. While hundreds of thousands of people remain without commercial power, wireless providers continue to refuel back-up power resources and deploy network equipment, such as temporary cell sites and generators, to maintain services for consumers and public safety officials.

The wireless industry is continuing to support response and recovery with communications trailers, work stations and ongoing text-to-donate campaigns to provide relief. You can text the word HURRICANES to 90999 to make a $10 donation to the the Red Cross to support their efforts to help people recover from this disaster.

For more information, please see the following resources:

 

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