Hughes Announces Emergency Networking Solutions in Anticipation of Hurricane Season

GERMANTOWN, MD—Hughes Network Systems, LLC (HUGHES), a leading provider of managed network and application services, announced the availability of Hughes Emergency Services in anticipation of the 2012 hurricane season. Hughes Emergency Services include network restoral, post-event response and preparedness satellite solutions designed to provide robust, expedited broadband Internet connectivity for government and business when a disaster strikes.

According to the National Hurricane Center, the 2011 hurricane season’s biggest event – Hurricane Irene – caused over $15 billion in damage and killed 49 people. This year, projections are mixed, as meteorologists predict fewer named storms but greater proximity to the United States coastline.

“This year’s unpredictable storm season reinforces two facts,” said Mike Cook, senior vice president at Hughes. “You cannot predict if a storm will strike, but you can prepare for its worst effects. Businesses and governments must ensure continuity of operations during disasters—which means the ability to respond to immediate citizen and customer needs. But no response is possible without reliable communications. When cell phone towers are damaged and traditional circuits flooded, satellite broadband service ensures that organizations can respond to the disaster and maintain day-to-day operations like sending emails, processing orders, sharing information and checking inventory.”  

Businesses and government agencies should follow these steps to stay connected during hurricane season 2012:

  • Have a back-up generator and plenty of batteries on hand. Maintaining electrical power will be a top priority because without it, organizations cannot ensure an Internet connection.
  • Subscribe to a resilient, high-speed Internet service, such as satellite broadband, so that decision-makers and emergency operators can stay connected even if terrestrial networks fail.
  • Prepare and protect critical data. Evaluate which applications and information systems are essential. This can include Continuity of Operations (COOP) and emergency response plans, accounting documents, inventory logs, and constituent information. Organizations should back-up information frequently and store the data in a safe, secure and dependable facility. Since data may be lost due to flooding, consider storing it at an off-site location.
  • Keep at least one corded phone connected to a wall jack to ensure that offices have telecommunications service in the event of an electrical-only outage.
  • Do not hesitate to go on alert. If a facility is at risk of losing service for an extended period of time, put its Web host provider on alert.

Landline connections can be unreliable during significant flooding and windy conditions, forcing operations to cease. This can mean a significant loss of revenue for businesses and disruption of vital government services that are needed most in recovery operations. Whether an organization needs emergency communications at a fixed site or on-the-move, Hughes can deliver reliable connections during crisis.  

Hughes provides an Internet service plan with download speeds of up to 5 Mbps and upload speeds of up to 1 Mbps. By using the advanced SPACEWAY© 3 Ka-band satellite system, the plan provides organizations with the flexibility they need in an emergency, requiring only a two-month service commitment and the option to extend it on a month-to-month basis. For organizations that have mobile needs, Hughes offers vehicle-mount, on-the-move terminals that set up quickly and provide emergency Internet access. Every solution is backed by comprehensive 24/7 technical support and next-business day field maintenance.  

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