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Many Businesses and Government Agencies Unprepared for 2011 Hurricane Season



June 1, 2011


Hughes Network Systems, LLC  announced the availability of Hughes Emergency Solutions in anticipation of the 2011 hurricane season and in response to the terrible tornadoes much of the country has experienced this spring. WSI Corp., a weather software maker, has predicted another very active season for hurricanes in 2011, which may affect businesses and government entities in the Atlantic and Gulf Coast regions. Hughes Emergency Solutions are designed to provide robust, expedited broadband Internet connectivity for business and government when disasters strike, whether earthquakes, tornadoes, or hurricanes.


According to researchers from John Hopkins and Texas A&M University, during the last five major hurricanes, nearly 30,000 businesses and government entities were forced to cease operations due to power outages and loss of Internet connectivity. The 2011 hurricane season is expected to be above normal with an estimated 17 named storms and nine hurricanes—five of which will be Category 3 or higher. Businesses and government offices can expect to experience network downtime, impairing emergency response and recovery efforts, disrupting business activities, and impacting the ability to keep mission-critical operations running smoothly.


“Continuity during disasters is imperative for businesses and government agencies,” said Mike Cook, senior vice president at Hughes. “Broadband satellite services provide network connectivity that continues to operate when terrestrial networks—including cell towers—are severely damaged. Incorporating satellite services into emergency planning and response activities enables businesses and government agencies to maintain uninterrupted Internet connections needed to facilitate disaster response and day-to-day operations such as sending and receiving e-mails, processing orders, sharing information, and checking inventory. We encourage businesses and government agencies to follow our recommendations to ensure that they stay connected during the hurricane season.”


Hughes suggests businesses and government agencies follow these simple steps to stay connected, eliminate Internet downtime, and prevent significant disruptions during this hurricane season.

·         Have a back-up generator and plenty of batteries on hand. Maintaining electrical power will be a top priority. Without electrical power, you will not be able to maintain your Internet connection.


·         Subscribe to a resilient, high-speed Internet service, such as satellite broadband, so decision makers and emergency operators can stay connected, as well as to ensure that your e-mail, product orders, and other critical information can be maintained should your terrestrial network fail.

·         Prepare and protect critical data. Evaluate which applications and data are essential, such as Continuity of Operations (COOP)/emergency response plans, accounting documents, inventory logs, and constituent information; back up the information in a timely manner, and store the data in a safe, secure, and dependable facility. Since data may be lost due to flooding, consider storing data at an off-site location.

·         Keep at least one corded phone connected to a wall jack to ensure that your office has telecommunications service in the event of an electrical-only outage.

·         Do not hesitate to go on alert. If you believe you are at risk of losing service for an extended period of time, put your Web hosting provider on alert.  

According to Cook, “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 which are needed most in recovery operations. Hughes Emergency Solutions provides both fixed and mobile satellite solutions that can quickly restore those connections.”


The Hughes Emergency Solutions features an Internet service plan with download speeds of up to 5 Mbps and upload speeds of up to 1 Mbps, made possible by utilizing Hughes’ advanced SPACEWAY® 3 Ka-band satellite system. The service plan includes comprehensive 24/7 technical support, next-business day field maintenance, and provides organizations with the flexibility they need in an emergency, requiring only a two-month service commitment that may be extended on a month-to-month basis, depending on need.


In addition, Hughes offers mobile solutions with nationwide reach and vehicle-mount, on-the-move terminals and flyaway kits that set up quickly for emergency Internet access. Hughes can also provide mobile satellite service using Inmarsat’s Broadband Global Area Network (BGAN) service and Hughes BGAN terminals.