GERMANTOWN, Md., June 3, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Hughes Network Systems, LLC (HUGHES), the global leader in broadband satellite solutions and services, and a leading provider of managed network and application services, today announced the availability of new Hughes Emergency Services as the 2013 hurricane season begins. Hughes Emergency Services include satellite network solutions for emergency preparedness, restoral, and post-event response designed to provide robust, expedited broadband Internet connectivity for government and business when a disaster strikes. Powered by the SPACEWAY © 3 Ka-band satellite system or the new EchoStar XVII ® satellite with JUPITER ™ high-throughput technology, users can get speeds up to 15 Mbps.
According to the National Hurricane Center, Hurricane Sandy was the largest Atlantic hurricane recorded in history and the second most expensive after Hurricane Katrina. Hurricane Sandy destroyed parts of the Caribbean, Mid-Atlantic, and Northeastern United States, causing approximately $20 billion in damage and an estimated loss of $50 billion in revenue from interruption to businesses.  This year, meteorologists are predicting an above-average probability for major hurricanes making landfall in the Atlantic Basin including the Caribbean Sea, the Gulf of Mexico, and along the U.S. coastline. 
"In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, terrestrial and wireless networks failed or were unreliable while satellite technology proved invaluable to businesses, government, and non-profits in meeting their Internet and voice connectivity needs," said Mike Cook, senior vice president at Hughes. "With the memory of Hurricane Sandy's impact still fresh in our minds, it is critical that organizations think proactively about emergency communications preparedness. At some point, there will be another hurricane. Terrestrial networks will fail and cell phone tower backup generators will lose power, but if businesses, non-profits, and government agencies incorporate satellite technology into their emergency communications plans, they will be able to ensure continuity of communications to support their operations during and immediately following disasters. Hughes is ready to help with trusted, proactive path-diverse satellite technology and emergency restorable solutions, as well as emergency response satellite broadband Internet service."While it is obvious that businesses, non-profits, and government agencies should have a back-up generator and plenty of batteries on hand in case electrical power is not maintained, it is critical to also follow these important steps to stay connected during hurricane season 2013:
- Subscribe to a resilient, high-speed network service, such as satellite broadband, so that decision-makers and emergency operators can stay connected even if terrestrial networks fail.
- Prepare and protect critical data. Evaluate which applications and information systems are essential. This can include Continuity of Operations (COOP) and emergency response plans, accounting documents, inventory logs, and constituent information. Organizations should back-up information frequently and store the data in a safe, secure, and dependable facility. Since data may be lost due to flooding, consider storing it at an off-site location.
- Do not hesitate to go on alert. If a facility is at risk of losing service for an extended period of time, put its Web host provider on alert.