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Cognitive Computing Authors: Liz McMillan, Yeshim Deniz, Shelly Palmer, Elizabeth White, Rajeev Kozhikkattuthodi

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C Spire Wireless Offers Consumers and Businesses Emergency Planning Tips for Hazardous Winter Weather Conditions

With hazardous winter weather conditions expected to threaten a large swath of the Southeast with flooding, freezing rain, sleet and light snow through Friday, C Spire Wireless is offering consumers and businesses some important planning and emergency communications reminders to use before, during and after any severe winter weather event.

Before the Storm

  • Charge your primary wireless phone battery and secure back-up batteries and a vehicle charger in a dry, accessible location.
  • Maintain a list of emergency phone numbers for police, fire, rescue agencies, power companies, insurance providers and family, friends and co-workers and program them into your mobile phone address book.
  • Give your emergency contact information to those who need it, including neighbors, family and friends.
  • Download and use mobile apps from a wide variety of free weather and safety-related sources like The Weather Channel, the National Weather Service, FEMA, the American Red Cross and Ping4 for smartphones, tablets and other devices.
  • Set up your office email and log in on your mobile phone to stay connected with co-workers and to receive updates on emergency school and road closures and office work schedules.
  • Prepare an emergency supply kit with items, including a flashlight and battery-powered radio with extra batteries, canned and non-perishable food, bottled water, toiletry items, pet food and supplies, medicine and prescription medication and copies of important family papers and documents.

During and After the Storm

  • Stay home and do not drive in snowy or icy road conditions.
  • Keep clear of downed power lines. Even if electricity appears to be off, leave the lines alone. Do not attempt to move them, but instead contact your local electric utility to report the downed power lines, utility poles or tree limbs.
  • Operate emergency generators outdoors and avoid using a generator inside your home or garage.
  • Turn off all home appliances to prevent a surge once commercial power is restored.
  • Exercise caution when using alternative heating sources. Avoid using a stove for heating as it can cause carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Allow water to drip from faucets during extremely cold weather so water pressure can be relieved and to prevent pipes from bursting in your home. If you are concerned that your pipes are frozen and may have burst, turn off your water supply at the main shut off valve and contact a plumber.
  • Place voice calls only when necessary. Limit your personal calls so that capacity is available for 9-1-1 calls and other emergency responders.
  • When possible, send text messages instead of placing voice calls. Text messages require less network capacity and are more likely than voice calls to reach their destination during periods of network congestion.
  • Charge your mobile phone in your car during commercial power outages. If a car charger is unavailable, buy an AC adapter for your vehicle so you can use your wall charger.
  • Set up social media and email accounts on your mobile phone to stay connected with friends and family with status and location updates. C Spire customers also can get updates on the network and other news via social links by following the company on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Turn off your Bluetooth, data connections, such as auto sync for PDA and smartphone users, turn backlight down to the minimum levels to conserve battery life. When the battery is extremely low, turn phone off unless in use.
  • Use the camera on your wireless device to document damage to your personal property, home or business and use picture and video messaging to send them to insurance agents or other contacts.

For more information about emergency planning and communication tips, visit the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency at www.msema.org/be-prepared/. For the latest weather information and forecast, visit the National Weather Service at www.srh.noaa.gov/jan and click on your area. For winter weather preparation suggestions, visit http://www.srh.noaa.gov/jan/?n=winter_wx_preparedness.

For more information on C Spire’s network, visit www.cspire.com/network.

About C Spire Wireless

C Spire Wireless is a diversified wireless communications and technology services company passionately committed to helping customers by personalizing wireless services designed just for them. The company is the first wireless provider in the U.S. to personalize customers’ experience by providing recommendations for apps, music, movies and books that fit who they are, services that anticipate their needs, and rewards for using their phone in new ways – all with seamless ease and at amazingly fast speeds. For more information about C Spire Wireless and its products and services, visit www.cspire.com or follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/cspire, YouTube at www.youtube.com/cspire, Twitter at www.twitter.com/cspire, Google+ or Pinterest at www.pinterest.com/cspirewireless.

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