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UPDATE: SOUTHERN BELL, SOUTH CENTRAL BELL RESPOND TO STORM

 UPDATE: SOUTHERN BELL, SOUTH CENTRAL BELL RESPOND TO STORM
 Following is a summary of the information that has been distributed on BellSouth Telecommunications' response to the effects of Hurricane Andrew on Southern Bell and South Central Bell.
 Please contact BellSouth Telecommunications if additional information is needed on any of these items:
 -- The basic integrity of the telephone switching system survived the storm with flying colors. No major central offices were ever out of service and many customers were able to use their phone service even as the eye of the storm passed over.
 -- Current estimates are that perhaps as many as 150,000 telephone lines in Florida and 30,000 in Louisiana are without service. Many of these are for homes and offices that were destroyed or made uninhabitable by the storm. BellSouth has added 463 workers in South Florida and 181 in Louisiana to help restore damage by the storm.
 -- A one-of-a-kind "switching office on wheels" has been dispatched from its home base in Atlanta to South Florida. The unit, consisting of four trailers, houses a self-contained central office switch and can travel within hours to any city in the BellSouth region if telephone facilities are damaged by tornadoes, hurricanes or fire. The unit will likely be deployed in the Homestead area to assist in providing temporary service to the devastated area.
 -- In Florida, the company has waived connection charges and one month's service charge for its Call Forwarding and MemoryCall(R) services. Victims of the storm can use Call Forwarding to have their calls sent to another telephone; MemoryCall mailboxes can be used to both leave and receive messages.
 -- After the storm hit, BellSouth Telecommunications personnel moved in quickly to establish essential communications facilities for Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) operations in Miami and Baton Rouge. In particular, a 230-line ESSX(R) service system (a central office-based business communications system) was set up from scratch in Miami in a little more than 24 hours. That system has now been expanded to 1,525 lines.
 -- BellSouth Telecommunications' E911 Computer Center near Fort Lauderdale, which provides essential functions for E911 systems throughout the region, not only remained in service throughout the storm, it handled double the number of calls normally processed in a 24- hour period. Although 911 traffic could have been switched to a center in North Carolina, that action wasn't needed. Having incoming facilities being fiber and underground kept the center functioning throughout the crisis.
 CONTACT: Richard Miles, 404-529-8003; David Rogers, 404-529-8053; Spero Canton (in Florida), 305-530-5455; or Cathye McDonald (in Louisiana), 504-528-2216, all of BellSouth Telecommunications.
 -0- 9/1/92


CO: BellSouth Telecommunications ST: Florida, Louisiana IN: TLS SU:

BN-BR -- AT007 -- 5334 09/01/92 10:19 EDT
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Date:Sep 1, 1992
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