Although the risk of Hurricane Joaquin landfalling in the United States has reduced, the threat to East Coast cities and communities is still being taken seriously and businesses need to prepare. Even if the storm stays over the ocean, the East Coast could be impacted by heavy rain and large waves, adding to existing flooding problems caused by recent rainfall.
In New York City, AT&T preparations include ‘an arsenal of disaster response equipment and personnel on standby’. AT&T has tested and topped-off fuel for cell-site generators, installed and tested high-capacity back-up batteries at cell sites, and installed ‘Quick Connect Generator Plugs’ at cell sites. It has also staged other emergency response equipment in strategic locations. Its National Reliability Center is monitoring outages 24/7 for quick action.
AT&T has also improved the network redundancy in storm-prone areas. It has installed more generators at critical cell towers and switching facilities, and moving electronics key to network operations above expected flood levels. AT&T is also coordinating with state emergency management and Power Company officials to prepare for this storm.
AT&T is encouraging other organizations and individuals to make preparations and has published the following tips to help small businesses:
- 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.
- 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.
Additional information and tips for disaster preparedness can be found at www.att.com/vitalconnections