Inge Smidts, CEO of C&W Communications (C&W) operator of the consumer brands Flow and BTC, and the C&W Business brand in the Caribbean, has issued a call for all families and businesses to be fully prepared as another Atlantic Hurricane season kicked off on June 1st, 2019. The season got an early start this year as Hurricane Andrea, a low-powered storm, formed on May 20th some 300 miles west-southwest of Bermuda. Though the storm made no landfall it brought sharply into focus the need for the Caribbean region to once again prepare for what the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is calling a “fairly normal” Hurricane Season. NOAA is predicting 9 to 15 named storms with possibly 2 to 4 storms becoming major hurricanes this year.
C&W has been actively preparing for the 2019 Hurricane season and has already completed a series of rigorous hurricane drills across its markets and has begun customer awareness campaigns encouraging everyone to be on alert and ready to take the necessary steps to protect their families, and property.
Following 2017’s disastrous hurricanes across the central and northern Caribbean, C&W invested approximately US$50M in Hurricane Restoration across its Caribbean operations. Some of this funding went towards upgrading cellular towers in impacted markets to higher category-rated models built specifically to withstand more extreme wind conditions. Additionally, the company’s world-class subsea network remains one of the most secure subsea cable systems in this hemisphere with increased redundancy added by building our alternative routes for data and mobile traffic, in the event of an emergency.
CEO Smidts said, “While we are hopeful that no customers will be impacted during this year’s hurricane season, we must also ensure that we are ready to face that reality if it comes. We are enormously proud of how our network performed in the hurricane-impacted islands in 2017, and we know that our customers were relieved that they could have access to family and friends during that time. We have invested in strengthening our networks, whether through new and improved technology or ensuring we have alternate ways to back up our data and mobile traffic in case any part of our network is compromised. I urge families to take a moment to formulate their own Hurricane safety plan, check with your local disaster preparedness office or online for easy to use templates, and decide now what you will do as a family in the event of a Hurricane. Keep this plan handy with your emergency supplies and of course, your Flow and BTC handset.”
According to Smidts, “Nothing beats preparation. It must be a priority for everyone including regional governments and organizations like ours. We at C&W continue to hold true to our commitment to keep our customers connected to family and friends especially during the moments that matters most, such as during times of disaster.”