AT&T Networks Prepared for Winter Storm Pax
Atlanta, Georgia, February 12, 2014
With an arsenal of disaster response equipment and personnel on standby as winter storm “Pax” moves in, AT&T* is ready to respond quickly.
AT&T has activated our storm preparedness process as we closely monitor winter storm Pax, which is expected to impact the southeastern United States over the next 24 hours. Among our preparations, we've 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 our cell sites and staged additional emergency response equipment in strategic locations. Our national reliability center is monitoring outages for quick action.
In addition, AT&T 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 and upgrading electronics critical to network operations above expected flood levels.
"We know how a severe weather event such as Winter Storm Pax can disrupt everything from travel to business. 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 so that we can minimize the disruptions," said Beth Shiroishi, president, AT&T Georgia. "With heavy, wet snowfall and ice expected, we may have some outages. But if service goes down, we'll do all we can to get it back up as fast as possible. We have been working for the past few days to position equipment and crews in preparation for the storm and we are closely linked with public officials in their storm response efforts."
The AT&T 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. 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.
Just as we prepare our networks and personnel, AT&T encourages residents and small businesses to consider the following recommendations in the wake of the storm.
Maximizing Service During and After a Storm:
- Try text messaging. During an emergency situation, text messages may go through more quickly than voice calls because they require fewer network resources. All of AT&T's wireless devices are text messaging capable. Depending on your text or data plan, additional charges may apply.
- Be prepared for high call volume. During an emergency, many people are trying to use their phones at the same time. The increased calling volume may create network congestion, leading to "fast busy" signals on your wireless phone or a slow dial tone on your landline phone. If this happens, hang up, wait several seconds and then try the call again. This allows your original call data to clear the network before you try again.
- Keep non-emergency calls to a minimum, and limit your calls to the most important ones. If there is severe weather, chances are many people will be attempting to place calls to loved ones, friends and business associates.