GULF COAST U.S.A. - GLOBALSTAR LLC (www.globalstar.ca), the world's most widely used hand-held satellite phone provider, said on September 2 that satellite phone service remained uninterrupted in the Gulf of Mexico and Southeastern U.S., including Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Missouri, following the landfall of Hurricane Katrina.
Additionally, the company was airlifting additional units to local representatives in the area to accommodate growing demand from relief agencies and citizens.
"It's critical for emergency organizations, businesses and private individuals to have access to reliable communications during a natural disaster such as this. Globalstar was designed from the beginning to provide continuous communications regardless of events on the ground. The Globalstar network is performing exactly as intended," said Jay Monroe, Chairman and CEO of Globalstar LLC.
Globalstar is working closely with FEMA and other state and local disaster relief and first responder agencies, to ensure that vital communications capabilities for relief workers are accessible and reliable. Service in the region is provided by the Globalstar satellite network, and two ground-based satellite gateways, one in Texas, and the other in Sebring, Fla. The Sebring Gateway became operational in July under special temporary authority from the FCC that Globalstar requested specifically to ensure that enhanced Globalstar service in the region would be available prior to the start of hurricane season.
Word is arriving that mining companies and suppliers have already made donations toward the relief of the people affected by Hurricane Katrina. (It is expected that others have made donations but not announced the fact.)
Gramercy Alumina, which operates an alumina refinery in Gramercy, La., 100 km north of New Orleans, has donated US$200,000 towards hurricane Katrina relief efforts. $150,000 has been allocated to the American Red Cross's hurricane relief funds, while $50,000 will be allocated to relief efforts directly in the Gramercy area. The Gramercy Alumina refinery received only minor damage during the hurricane, but many employees suffered loss of personal property, and the company is working to assist employees. Gramercy Alumina is an alumina refinery owned 50% by Century Aluminum Company and 50% by Noranda Aluminum (a unit of FALCONBRIDGE LTD.).
The Australian company MAPTEK/KRJA SYSTEMS, INC. has donated US$10,000 to the Hurricane Relief Fund. "Maptek encourages our industry to support those affected by the devastation of Hurricane Katrina," says marketing manager Cherie LeDoux. Learn more about what Maptek is doing at www.maptek.com.