AT&T announced yesterday the telecom is closely monitoring and preparing for Hurricane Laura expected to impact Texas, Louisiana and other Gulf states. The company says it has an arsenal of disaster response equipment and personnel on standby.
Their preparation includes:
- Topping off fuel generators.
- Testing high-capacity back-up batteries at cell sites.
- Protecting physical facilities against flooding.
- Staging other emergency response and network recovery equipment in strategic locations for quick deployment following the storm.
- Staging dedicated FirstNet deployable network assets for use by public safety agencies on FirstNet to request as needed.
“As we have in the past, we have installed more generators at critical cell towers and switching facilities and moved electronics essential to network operations above expected flood levels. Additionally, our Network Disaster Recovery (NDR) team is on standby and prepared to deploy assets if needed,” Caleb Deerinwater, AT&T South Texas Vice President/general manager said. “Customers rely on us, especially during major storms. That’s why we practice readiness drills and simulations throughout the year. And we do all we can to have our networks prepared when severe weather strikes. We’ve worked for the past few days to position equipment and crews and are ready to respond if needed. We’re also closely linked with public officials in their storm response efforts.”
AT&T claims its Network Disaster Recovery (NDR) program is one of the industry’s largest and most advanced disaster response programs citing hundreds of technology recovery and support trailers that can be quickly deployed to support customers and first responders.
The AT&T response equipment readied in the wake of an event includes:
- 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, an 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
Additional information and tips for disaster preparedness can be found here.