The official federal outlook calls for an above average season of up to 20 tropical storms (wind speeds of 39 mph or higher), 6 to 10 hurricanes (74 mph or higher) and three to five major hurricanes (111 mph or higher winds) forming in the Atlantic Ocean during the six-month period that officially begins (Tuesday, June 1).
C-Spire of Mississippi 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.
2020 was a record year in the Atlantic with 30 named storms and 14 hurricanes, seven of which were considered major, including Laura, whose 150-mile-per-hour winds battered Louisiana.
This produced 77 fatalities and $19 billion in damages. Six other major hurricanes killed 296 people and caused $26.5 billion in damages.
2021 has already proven to be an unprecedented year for severe weather with record rainfall, 15 tornadoes, six deaths, damages to homes and businesses and widespread flooding.
With multiple federal disaster declarations and 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 Stephen C. McCraney, 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,” he added.
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.
The company uses back up batteries and diesel generators at mobile sites and switching centers and arranges 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 company is coordinating its emergency response efforts with local, state and federal agencies and organizations, including the Mississippi 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.