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Sprint Highlights Radio as Part of Hurricane Prep

Carrier says FM can be a “lifeline” during disaster

Sprint points to FM radio as part of its hurricane season preparedness pitch.

The carrier is telling customers that Sprint and NextRadio provide “free emergency FM radio access.”

For customers looking for additional communications resources during an emergency, Sprint says the NextRadio interactive radio application receives FM broadcasts in a user’s local area through a built-in FM tuner inside the smartphone. Available on some 15 models of Sprint, Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile U.S. Android-powered smartphones, the free Google Play app allows consumers to listen to FM radio stations on the go.

By downloading NextRadio, Sprint, Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile U.S. customers can use their Android smartphone to receive news and information from local broadcast affiliates during times of emergency. FM radio can be a lifeline to citizens when other communication networks suffer disaster — related outages, such as hurricanes, says Sprint.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is forecasting a below-average number of storms for the 2014 Atlantic Hurricane season, however should a hurricane or tropical storm threaten the operation of Sprint’s network, the company’s Network Disaster Recovery unit and Emergency Response Team will begin to implement a standard emergency response approximately 24 to 72 hours before the storm is predicted to make landfall. Just as radio stations do, the wireless company prestages assets before the storm hits, including cell sites on wheels and satellite cells on light trucks.

Sprint says it’s installed some 250 additional cell sites since November 2013, including storm-prone states like Georgia, Maryland, New York, North Carolina and Texas.