AT&T Outlines Restoration Efforts, Progress in Wake of Joplin Storm Damage

AT&T brings in mobile charging stations/stores, deploys cell sites on wheels, provides free voice minutes to help local residents stay connected to family and friends

Joplin, Missouri, May 25, 2011
newsrelease


AT&T* said today that it activated its AT&T Network Disaster Recovery team and other restoration teams to Joplin late Sunday and that restoration efforts are in full motion. To expedite these efforts and assist local residents with their communication needs, AT&T has deployed significant network, employee and service resources, and crews have made considerable progress in the aftermath of the devastating tornado. Below outlines AT&T’s relief efforts to date.

Continuing to Assist Local Residents and Customers

While AT&T’s company-owned retail store at 1702 Range Line Road was demolished in the storm, AT&T has taken a number of measures to ensure it continues to assist local customers and residents with their connectivity and service needs, whether they just need to charge their device, get a new battery, need technical support or simply have questions.

  • Deploying Charging Stations & Stores on Wheels: AT&T is deploying three mobile charging stations/stores to provide a convenient place where the public can charge their phones at no cost and conduct any business they need with AT&T.
    • The first mobile location opened Tuesday afternoon and at 4001 S. Richard Joseph Blvd. near South Rangeline and 44 next to the AT&T call center.
    • The two other locations will open later this week (further details will be shared at that time).
    • Authorized Retailer Locations In Service: There are also three AT&T authorized retailer locations in the vicinity that can assist local customers.
      • Cellular World, 729 S. Rangeline, Joplin, MO 64801
      • Communications Connection, 101 N. Rangeline (inside Northpark Mall), Joplin, MO 64801
      • Cellular World, 6015 N. Main Street, Webb City, MO 64870
    • Taking Care of Our Customers: We recognize that many of our local customers have been impacted by the storm and/or are trying to stay connected to their family and friends during this difficult time. To assist them, AT&T is:
      • Automatically adding 200 bonus minutes for voice calls for the next three billing cycles to current AT&T wireless customers who live in Joplin.
      • Through May 31, AT&T customers whose device may have been lost or damaged in the storm will be eligible for early upgrade discounted pricing, whether or not they are eligible to upgrade to a replacement device. Standard activation and upgrade fees will also be waived.*
      • Phone accessories such as extra batteries and phone chargers will be available for half the regular price.**

    *Offer valid at the three AT&T mobile locations and the authorized retailer locations listed above.

    **Offer valid at the three AT&T mobile locations mentioned above.

    Service Restoration and Support in Disaster Areas

    AT&T employees and contractors have come from all over the country to help expedite the restoration of communications services for the Joplin community. Overall, the company’s wireless and wireline networks continue to perform well even under increased wireless traffic. The company is still assessing damages to our network in some hard-to-reach areas, but repairs are underway and progress is being made in other areas. Currently, more than 85 percent of AT&T cell sites that serve Joplin are operational and the impacted sites are being served by temporary cell site solutions.

    AT&T has also taken steps to ensure that its customers, relief agencies and government organizations are equipped with the means to communicate during this ongoing crisis. These efforts include:

    • Red Cross Donation: The AT&T Foundation announced a $50,000 grant to the Greater Ozarks Regional Chapter of the American Red Cross to support storm relief efforts in Joplin.  The funds will be used by Red Cross disaster workers to provide food, shelter, emotional assistance and basic supplies to individuals and families affected by recent storms and tornadoes.
    • Network Disaster Recovery Team/Satellite COLT: AT&T deployed members of its Network Disaster Recovery team to Joplin late Sunday evening with a Satellite COLT (Cell on Light Truck). The Satellite COLT began providing cellular service a few blocks from St. John’s Regional Medical Center on Monday; the permanent cell site near the hospital was damaged by the tornado.
    • Cell on Wheels: We also activated an additional cell site on wheels (COW) to augment capacity at our existing site that serves the area east of Business Route 71 and 20th street, which was damaged in the storm. This capacity will help ease call congestion while the site is being repaired.
    • AT&T Command Center: A command center has been established and is being manned by engineers, contractors and outside plant managers to assess damage and restoral efforts. Initial restoral efforts are focused on public safety, hospitals, Red Cross and other key initiatives.
    • Generators: Our teams have deployed generators to cell sites and other facilities that have lost commercial power to get them back up and running.
    • Crews Working 24/7: Our team is working 24/7 until communications services are back up and running for our customers. We’ve also enlisted additional support from AT&T employees, technicians and vendors from surrounding areas and states to help expedite relief efforts.
    • Emergency Responder Support: One hundred wireless devices have been provided to St. John’s Regional Medical Center to assist during the relief efforts.

    *AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc.

    About the American Red Cross
    You can help people affected by disasters like the April tornado outbreak as well as countless crises at home and around the world, by making a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for and provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance in response to disasters. Visit www.redcross.org or call 1-800-RED-CROSS. Contributions may also be sent to www.redcross-ozarks.org, or to the American Red Cross, P. O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013.

    About Philanthropy at AT&T
    AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) is committed to advancing education, strengthening communities and improving lives. Through its philanthropic initiatives, AT&T has a long history of supporting projects that create learning opportunities; promote academic and economic achievement; and address community needs. In 2010, more than $148.2 million was contributed through corporate-, employee- and AT&T Foundation-giving programs.

    About AT&T
    AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) is a premier communications holding company. Its subsidiaries and affiliates – AT&T operating companies – are the providers of AT&T services in the United States and around the world. With a powerful array of network resources that includes the nation's fastest mobile broadband network, AT&T is a leading provider of wireless, Wi-Fi, high speed Internet and voice services. A leader in mobile broadband, AT&T also offers the best wireless coverage worldwide, offering the most wireless phones that work in the most countries. It also offers advanced TV services under the AT&T U-verse® and AT&T | DIRECTV brands. The company's suite of IP-based business communications services is one of the most advanced in the world. In domestic markets, AT&T Advertising Solutions and AT&T Interactive are known for their leadership in local search and advertising.

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