The six-month Atlantic hurricane season kicked off on June 1 and Verizon Wireless and AT&T Mobility have made a point to harden wireless infrastructure to ensure disaster-struck areas can maintain connectivity during and after a storm event.

Verizon Wireless reps noted a total of $173 million in capital expenditures dedicated to “strengthen and enhance the wireless network, ensuring that residents have comprehensive and reliable coverage in the event of severe weather.”

Those enhancements, centered on Houston and the Gulf Coast, include so-called super switch network processing centers designed to withstand Category 5 hurricanes, which are defined by wind speeds of 157 mph or higher.

Verizon Wireless also has in place a comprehensive emergency response plan, which involves crisis command centers, supplemented by cells towers mounted to vehicles, light trailers and even portable generators.

“We place a strong emphasis on maintaining and providing customers with the best, most reliable network, and this hurricane season is no different,” Krista Bourne, president of the Houston/Gulf Coast region for Verizon Wireless, said. “Whether a storm is forming or has just passed, you can count on Verizon to stay in touch with family and friends. Our continued network investment in Houston and the Gulf Coast ensure you are accessible in the fastest way possible.”

Verizon Wireless also has put in place logistic measures to pre-arrange fuel delivery to mobile generators so that network operations can continue unabated in the event that utility service is disrupted.

For its part, AT&T has spent a reported $600 million on storm prep, which includes a National Disaster Recovery program comprising more than 300 tech and equipment trailers that can be quickly deployed to disaster sites.

“Staying connected during severe weather events is critically important to consumers, businesses and our emergency management officials,” Mayo Flynt, president of AT&T Mississippi, said. “That’s why AT&T invests a tremendous amount of resources in our network reliability and disaster response capabilities.”

By Sean Kinney on June 2, 2015