We’re keeping an eye on Hurricane Michael. If Hurricane Michael strikes, we’re ready with one of the largest Natural Disaster Recovery fleets in the industry.
In Florida, we know first-hand the power and unpredictability of hurricanes. So, as we all keep a close eye on the forecasts, I encourage you to make sure that you and your family are prepared and have a plan to stay safe in the event Michael impacts Florida. To that end, I have included some Hurricane Preparation tips below. Please continue to follow your preparedness plan until the threat of Hurricane Michael passes and it is once again safe in our communities.
AT&T has started its storm preparedness process as we closely monitor Hurricane Michael’s anticipated track, which is expected to impact Florida midweek. Preparation includes:
Topping off fuel generators.
Testing high-capacity back-up batteries at cell sites.
Protecting physical facilities against flooding with sandbags.
Staging other emergency response equipment in strategic locations for quick deployment following the storm.
Our AT&T National Disaster Recovery (NDR) program is one of the industry’s largest and most advanced disaster response programs. The NDR fleet includes hundreds of technology recovery and support trailers nationwide that can be quickly deployed to support customers and first responders.
Response equipment readied in the wake of an event may include:
Mobile cell sites and mobile command centers, like Cell on Wheels (COWs) and Cell on Light Trucks (COLTs).
Emergency communications vehicles (ECVs).
Flying Cell on Wings (Flying COWs).
A self-sufficient base camp. This is complete with sleeping tents, bathrooms, kitchen, laundry facilities, on-site nurse and Meals Ready to Eat (MREs).
Hazmat equipment and supplies.
Technology and support trailers to provide infrastructure support and mobile heating, ventilation and air conditioning.
Internal and external resources for initial assessment and recovery efforts.
AT&T is prepared, and with your personal plan in place, I am confident we will rise to meet the challenge of Michael and work together to address post-Michael issues and restore our communities.
Please stay safe, and thank you for what you do every day to keep Florida prepared to meet and beat challenges, like Hurricane Michael.
President — AT&T Florida, Puerto Rico & US-VI
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As we prepare, you should too. Everybody should also have a plan in place. When preparing for an evacuation or shelter-in-place, consider the following.
Keep your mobile device battery charged. In case of a power outage, have another way to charge your phone, like an extra battery, car charger or device-charging accessory. Applicable sales tax holidays are a great time to stock up on cell phone accessories.
Keep your mobile devices dry. The biggest threat to your device during a hurricane is water. Keep it safe from the elements by storing it in a baggie or some other type of protective covering, like an Otterbox phone cover.
Have a family communication plan. Choose someone out of the area as a central contact. Make sure 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 email addresses into your mobile phone. Numbers should include the police department, fire station, hospital and your family members.
Forward your home number to your mobile number in the event of an evacuation. Call forwarding is based out of the telephone central office. This means you will get calls from your landline phone even if your local telephone service is disrupted. If the central office is not operational, services such as voicemail and call forwarding may be useful.
Track the storm and access weather information on your mobile device. Many homes lose power during severe weather. You can stay up to speed as a DIRECTV customer, by streaming local weather channels using the DIRECTV app on your smartphone. If you subscribe to mobile DVR, you can also stream every channel directly to your phone.
Camera phones provide assistance. If you have a camera phone, take, store and send your insurance company photos and video clips of damage to your property.
Use location-based technology. Services like AT&T Navigator and AT&T FamilyMap can help you find evacuation routes or avoid traffic from downed trees and power lines. They can also track a family member’s wireless device if you get separated.
Limit social media activity. Keep social media activity to a minimum during and after a storm to limit network congestion and allow for emergency communications to go through.
Keep the lines open for emergencies. During evacuations, storm events and the aftermath, network resources will likely be taxed. To help ensure that emergency personnel have open lines, keep these tips in mind.
Text messaging. During an emergency situation, text messages may go through more quickly than voice calls because they require fewer network resources. All AT&T 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 call again. This allows your original call data to clear the network before you try again.
Keep non-emergency calls to a minimum. 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.
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