AT&T storm prep: 'We're ready'

AT&T says it is ready for Storm Nemo “with an arsenal of disaster response equipment and personnel on standby” and is ready to respond quickly.

“AT&T has activated our storm preparedness process as we closely monitor the path of the winter storm, which is expected to impact the northeastern United States this weekend,” the cell phone service provider said in a press release issued Friday afternoon. “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.

“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; 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 Rodney Smith, president, AT&T Connecticut.  “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 Connecticut 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 as fast as possible.”

AT&T has more than 320 technology and equipment trailers nationwide that can be quickly deployed to respond to disasters.

AT&T encourages residents and small businesses to consider the following recommendations in preparation for the storm.

• Keep your wireless phone batteries charged at all times. Use a car charger or have batteries on hand if you lose power.

• Have a family communication plan in place. Designate someone out of the area as a central contact, and make certain all family members know who to contact if they get separated. Practice your emergency plan in advance.

• Program all your emergency contact numbers and email addresses into your mobile phone. Numbers should include the police department, fire station and hospital, as well as family members.

• Track the storm and access weather information on your wireless device. If you have a wireless device that provides access to the Internet, you can watch weather reports on your phone. (Data charges may apply.)

During or after a storm:

• Text rather than call. Text messages go through more quickly than voice calls.

• If you encounter “call congestion” because of high call volume, hang up and wait a few seconds before trying again. This allows your original call data to clear the network before you try again.

• Keep non-emergency calls to a minimum.

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