AT&T Prepared For Hurricane Patricia
OREANDA-NEWS. October 26, 2015. AT&T* is ready for Hurricane Patricia with generators, Cell on Wheels (COWs), and network personnel on standby. The company also plans to not charge our customers additional fees for calls and texts to and from Mexico for the next month.
AT&T has started its storm preparedness process as we closely monitor Hurricane Patricia. The storm is expected to impact the Western coast of Mexico starting tonight. AT&T has topped-off fuel at generators positioned at cell sites, installed and tested high-capacity back-up batteries at cell sites. It has also staged COWs in strategic locations. Its network operations center is monitoring the storm closely.
AT&T has also improved the network redundancy in storm-prone areas. It has installed generators at critical cell towers and switching facilities, and moving electronics key to network operations above expected flood levels.
AT&T is also implementing international calling and texting relief efforts today for its U.S. wireless and wireline customers trying to connect with loved ones there.
AT&T will not charge customers additional fees for text messages or international long distance usage from AT&T phones from the U.S., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands to Mexico from Oct. 23, 2015 through Nov. 21, 2015. It is our hope that family members can quickly connect with loved ones in the region as soon as possible.
This applies to all calls and texts placed by AT&T wireless customers and GoPhone prepaid wireless customers as well as any direct dial calls made by our wireline and U-verse voice customers to Mexico. AT&T wireless customers roaming in Mexico will not be charged for calls or text messages back to the U.S. from Oct. 23, 2015 through Nov. 21, 2015. AT&T wireless customers can text ‘MEXICO’ to 80108 to donate \\$10 to relief efforts. **
The AT&T Network Disaster Recovery (NDR) program is one of the industry’s largest and most advanced disaster response programs. It includes more than 320 technology and equipment trailers that can be quickly deployed to respond to disasters. The NDR team works with AT&T network personnel and emergency operations centers to keep service going for customers and emergency first responders until permanent repairs are made.
Just as we prepare our networks and personnel, AT&T encourages customers to consider the following recommendations in the wake of the storm.
- Keep your mobile phone 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. 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 communications 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 e-mail addresses into your mobile phone. Numbers should include the police department, fire station and hospital, as well as 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. If you have a working mobile device with Internet access, you can watch weather reports through services like AT&T U-verse Live TV . You can also or stay updated with local radar and severe weather alerts through My-Cast® Weather, if you subscribe to those services.
- Camera phones provide assistance. If you have a camera phone, take, store and send photos and video clips of damage to your insurance company.
- 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 or power lines. They can also track a family member’s wireless device if you get separated.
Small Business Tips:
- Set up a call-forwarding service to a backup location. Set up a single or multiple hotline number(s) for employees, their families, customers and partners so they all know about the business situation and emergency plan.
- Back up data to the Cloud. Routinely back up files to an off-site location. Services such as Mobile Workplace are great for small businesses.
- Outline detailed plans for evacuation and shelter-in-place. Practice these plans (employee training, etc.). Establish a backup location for your business and meeting place for all employees.
- Assemble a crisis-management team. Coordinate efforts with neighboring businesses and building management. Disasters that affect your suppliers also affect your business. Outline a plan for supply chain continuity for business needs.
- Consider a back-up cellular network. Services like AT&T Remote Mobility Zone protect critical communications for businesses. If a disaster disables primary communications networks, the back-up cellular network can help you stay connected.
Keeping the lines open for emergencies
During evacuations, the storm event and its 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 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.
Additional information and tips for disaster preparedness can be found at www.att.com/vitalconnections.
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*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.
*** In an effort to support the recovery from Hurricane Patricia, The mGive Foundation has launched a campaign to collect donations for aid and relief organizations that will be responding to the disaster. Donors can text MEXICO to 80108 to give a \\$10 donation to the mGive Foundation Disaster Relief Fund. Donations will be collected by the mGive Foundation and distributed to organizations responding to the disaster and providing aid and relief services to those impacted by Hurricane Patricia.
AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) helps millions around the globe connect with leading entertainment, mobile, high speed Internet and voice services. We’re the world’s largest provider of pay TV. We have TV customers in the U.S. and 11 Latin American countries. In the U.S., our wireless network has the nation’s strongest 4G LTE signal and most reliable 4G LTE. We offer the best global coverage of any U.S. wireless provider*. And we help businesses worldwide serve their customers better with our mobility and highly secure cloud solutions.
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Signal strength and reliability claims based on nationwide carriers’ 4G LTE. Signal strength claim based ONLY on avg. 4G LTE signal strength. 4G LTE not available everywhere.
*Global coverage claim based on offering discounted voice and data roaming; LTE roaming; voice roaming; and world-capable smartphone and tablets in more countries than any other U.S. based carrier. International service required. Coverage not available in all areas. Coverage may vary per country and be limited/restricted in some countries.