AT&T Prepared To Keep Virginia Customers Connected During Hurricane Season

AT&T is Only Telecom Company with Disaster Response Program Certified by Homeland Security, Designed to Keep Customers Connected

AT&T* is committed to keeping its customers connected during the upcoming hurricane season - before, during and after storms. We have one of the industry’s largest and most advanced business continuity and disaster response programs to make sure our networks stay up and running.

No one knows when the next tropical storm or hurricane will hit the coastline. AT&T is prepared with a fleet of equipment ready for deployment, including hundreds of technology recovery and support trailers that can be quickly deployed. AT&T has invested more than $600 million in its Network Disaster Recovery program (NDR), making our disaster response program one of the nation’s largest and most advanced.

Plus, we are increasing our NDR fleet with new deployables to support first responders as part of our public-private partnership to deliver FirstNet’s nationwide public safety broadband network. AT&T will have more than 700 pieces of equipment, including our Cell on Wheels (COWs), Cell on Light Trucks (COLTs), trailers, generators and more available to maintain our network and benefit the first responders who use it. Our deployables and equipment can help first responders stay connected during emergencies and operate faster, safer and more effectively when lives are on the line.

The NDR team is also evaluating integrating Flying COWs (Cell on Wings) into the fleet of assets to provide emergency cell coverage for first responders and to the public if our network is damaged during a hurricane. We could one day send a Flying COW into areas where flooded roadways might prevent a traditional COW (Cell on Wheels) from being deployed.

“Staying connected during severe weather events is critically important to consumers, businesses and our emergency management officials,” said Vince Apruzzese, regional vice president for AT&T External Affairs in Virginia. “That’s why AT&T is investing a tremendous amount of resources in our network reliability and disaster response capabilities.”

Our NDR team works to make sure the right people and tools are in place and ready near the storm impact area. They work with our other response teams, our local network personnel, regional Emergency Operations Centers and Local Response Centers to prepare. Teams are ready to restore and maintain service if disaster strikes.

AT&T is the only telecom company to recently become re-certified under new international standards (ISO 22301) by the Department of Homeland Security for its disaster preparedness program.

AT&T conducts readiness drills and simulations year round to keep networks and our people ready to respond at a moment’s notice. Our NDR team recently completed its 77th full-field recovery exercise this year. The AT&T Global Network Operations Center monitors our networks 24/7. Since forming in 1991, the NDR team has responded to more than 70 events in the U.S.

AT&T standard pre-storm network preparations typically include:

  • Boosting the wireless network to accommodate increased call volume.
  • Testing the high-capacity backup batteries located at cell sites.
  • Staging extended battery life and portable generators, and maintaining existing fixed generators.
  • Topping off generators with fuel at cell sites and switching facilities.
  • Using natural gas in some of the permanent generators to eliminate the need to refuel.
  • Staging generators in safe locations for immediate deployment once a storm has passed.

Response equipment readied in the wake of an event includes:

  • Mobile cell sites and mobile command centers.
  • Emergency communications vehicles.
  • 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.

As we prepare, so should you. More information and tips for disaster preparedness can be found at

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