NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — With an arsenal of disaster response equipment and personnel on standby, AT&T said Friday it is ready to respond quickly to the massive winter storm hammering the Tri-State Area.
AT&T said it activated its storm preparedness process and is closely monitoring the path of the winter storm, which is expected to impact the northeastern part of the country through the weekend.
Among the telecommunication company’s preparations, it said it has topped off fuel at generators positioned at cell sites, installed and tested high-capacity back-up batteries at cell sites, installed “Quick Connect Generator Plugs” at many of cell sites and staged additional emergency response equipment in strategic locations.
In addition, AT&T said it has continued to enhance network redundancy in storm-prone areas by installing more back-up and permanent generators at critical cell sites and switching facilities; locating critical equipment in less vulnerable areas;upgrading electronics critical to network operations above expected flood levels; and protecting physical facilities against flooding.
“We know how much our customers rely on AT&T, particularly during major storms like this,” said Marissa Shorenstein, President of AT&T New York “That’s why we conduct extensive readiness drills and simulations throughout the year and do everything we can to ensure our networks are prepared when severe weather strikes. We have been working for the past few days to position equipment and crews to respond to the storm and are closely linked with New York public officials in their storm response efforts. With a storm of this magnitude, we may have some outages. But if service goes down, we’ll do all we can to get it back up asfast as possible.”
AT&T said its National Disaster Recovery (NDR) program is one of the industry’s largest and most advanced disaster response programs and includes more than 320 technology and equipment trailers that can be quickly deployed to respond to disasters. According to the company, the NDR team works closely with local AT&T network personnel, regional Emergency Operations Centers and Local Response Centers to restore and maintain service until permanent repairs can be made.
AT&T said it is encouraging residents and small businesses to consider the following recommendations in preparation for the storm.
* Keep your wireless phone batteries charged at all times.
* Have an alternative plan to recharge your battery in case of a power outage, such as using your car charger to charge your device or having extra mobile phone batteries on hand.
* Have a family communication plan in place. Designate someone out of the area as a central contact, and make certain that all family members know who to contact if they get separated.
* Most importantly, practice your emergency plan in advance. Program all of your emergency contact numbers and e-mail addresses into your mobile phone. Numbers should include the police department, fire station and hospital, as well as your family members.
* Track the storm and access weather information on your wireless device. Many homes lose power during severe weather. If you have a wireless device that provides access to the Internet, you can watch weather reports on your phone. Camera phones provide assistance. If you have a camera phone, take, store and send photos — even video clips — of damaged property to your insurance company from your device.
* Take advantage of location-based mapping technology. Services such as AT&T Navigator and AT&T FamilyMap can help you seek evacuation routes or avoid traffic congestion from downed trees or power lines, as well as track a family member’s wireless device in case you get separated.