CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Windstream Communications, the largest voice, broadband and entertainment services company focused on serving rural America, is preparing for Tropical Storm Ernesto as it moves toward Florida and the East Coast.
Windstream,is monitoring the storm 24/7 and is taking necessary steps to maintain service to customers. The company has backup power systems in all of its voice and data switching offices to keep phone service available, even when power goes out.
"We're mobilizing our resources and are prepared to work quickly to serve our customers," said Billy Taylor, Windstream vice president of operations for South Georgia and Florida.
Technicians are testing backup batteries and generators in central offices and readying equipment and other supplies for repairs, should a storm hit. Extra repair crews will be placed on stand-by to be dispatched, if necessary. In the event of a storm, Windstream also can re-route call and data traffic around some areas that might be damaged by the storm.
"We know that phone and broadband service, especially 911 service, is critical to our customers during events like this," Taylor said. “We want our customers to know that we're ready to handle any disaster that may strike."
Make sure you have a traditional phone with a corded handset. The base of a cordless phone requires electricity and will not work in a power outage.
Windstream offers these hurricane tips for customers:
Keep a list of emergency numbers near your telephone. The list should include family members, friends and neighbors you may want to check on during the storm.
Refer to your Windstream (Alltel) phone directory for emergency numbers.
Before the storm, use your broadband service to get the latest information on the storm's path, evacuation procedures and other emergency guidelines.
During the storm, limit your non-emergency calls.
During periods of high calling traffic, you may not hear a dial tone immediately. If you don't, wait a few seconds and try your call again.
Windstream Corporation (NYSE: WIN) provides voice, broadband and entertainment services to customers in 16 states. The company has approximately 3.4 million access lines and about $3.4 billion in annual revenues. For more information, visit www.windstream.com.
David Avery, 501-748-5876
Alice Hartnett, 704-845-7381