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SOUTHERN BELL'S STORM READINESS UPDATE

 MIAMI, Aug. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Should Hurricane Emily hit the Miami area, Southern Bell is prepared to maintain telephone service throughout the crisis.
 "People need to stay in touch with family and friends during a storm and we've build a telecommunications network here in Florida as reliable and advanced as any in the world," said Wendie Feinberg, manager of media relations for Southern Bell.
 Southern Bell has designed a network that can withstand an extensive onslaught from natural disasters:
 -- Switching offices are equipped with generators and batteries to keep them running should they lose commercial power. Since your telephone at home gets its power through the phone network, it often keeps working even if your power goes out.
 -- High winds and falling limbs cause most of the damage during storms. The company places many phone lines underground and designs other lines to withstand high winds. The wires and splices inside those cables are often protected from rain and floods by waterproof "jelly- like" compounds.
 -- With increased use of high-capacity fiber optic cable, the Southern Bell network can often redirect calls automatically when a major cable is cut. The network finds another way to get the calls through in the blink of an eye often without the callers ever realizing there was a problem.
 Also, Southern Bell sets up Emergency Operations Centers to monitor inclement weather conditions and coordinate the company's response. This is in addition to the company's centers that monitor the network around the clock every day of the year.
 While most customers should have service throughout the storm, Feinberg said that high winds and falling limbs could knock down individual lines to many customers' homes and businesses.
 "As soon as power company crews let us know an area is safe, our employees will begin restoring service for those customers," said Feinberg. "Most of our employees have been through this before. They're well trained in emergency service restoration procedures and know what needs to be done.
 While Southern Bell recognizes the need to stay in touch during crisis situations, it also asks customers to keep calls to a minimum as much as possible. This helps keep the lines open for emergency and other storm-related calls.
 "We've tried to do everything possible to get ready for situations like this," said Feinberg, "and our employees have always risen to the occasion because they recognize that telephone service is critical, especially during disasters.
 "After all, we live in these communities, and it's a matter of pride with us to make sure the phones work in all conditions.
 -0- 8/27/93
 /CONTACT: Wendie Feinberg, manager of media relations/Florida of Southern Bell, 305-530-5445/


CO: Southern Bell ST: Florida IN: TLS SU:

AW-BR -- FL006 -- 6801 08/27/93 18:04 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 27, 1993
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