KINGSTON, Jamaica – Digicel, the fastest-growing telecommunications company in the Caribbean, today announced that it is providing hurricane alerts, tracking maps, supplies and public safety information to help customers in the greater Caribbean region prepare for 2006 hurricanes.
Hurricane season officially begins in June and typically lasts through November 30, with many occurring during August and September across the region. Earlier this year, hurricane experts predicted that potential hurricane activity in the Caribbean would be well above average in 2006.
Digicel Cayman Islands is increasing network capacity and upgrading backup systems throughout the three- island network to ensure customers can remain connected to friends and family despite severe weather conditions. Digicel Barbados is also providing to its customers hurricane packs containing flashlights, car battery chargers and recharge cards in addition to donating phones and call time to the Barbados Disaster Preparedness Office. The company is also facilitating SMS alerts to the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Response Agency’s (CDERA) national disaster team.
In addition to the Cayman Islands, Barbados and Jamaica, Digicel’s hurricane preparedness efforts are taking place across all 20 Caribbean markets.
“In the event of a hurricane or other emergency, it is extremely important that critical response agencies, and communities throughout the Caribbean have access to communications in times of crisis. We are very pleased that Digicel is once again supporting the region’s preparations for this hurricane season through the donation of phones and air time,” said Jeremy Collymore, coordinator of Caribbean Disaster Emergency Response Agency (CDERA).
Digicel continues to remain active in supporting hurricane recovery efforts. Following the devastating effects of Hurricane Ivan in September 2004, the Digicel Foundation contributed US$5 million to rehabilitation efforts in communities in Jamaica, Cayman Islands and Grenada. Among the foundation’s beneficiaries were more than 200 schools, as well as libraries, hospitals and residents in the region. Digicel employees also volunteered their time to provide food and medical supplies to affected communities.
“Digicel’s primary concern is the safety and welfare of our customers and employees,” said Ben Atherton, Digicel Group Commercial Director. “We want to do everything possible to help ensure they are fully prepared for expected hurricanes in August and September throughout the region.”
Earlier this year, the Digicel Foundation, in order to ensure that Jamaica’s Meteorological Services are at optimal surveillance strength ahead of the upcoming hurricane season, facilitated state-of-the-art equipping and rehabilitation of its weather, rainfall and meteorological stations.