September 13, 2018
Communications technology is critical during natural disasters – connecting communities, first responders and families.
As we have seen time and again, USTelecom member companies remain on the front lines before, during, and after natural disasters. Several of our members have operations in and around Hurricane Florence’s path and have been coordinating with local, state and federal offices of emergency management and preparing to keep networks up and running.
Here are some ways broadband providers on the East Coast are stepping in to help communities weather the storm:
- As the storm gained momentum, AT&T announced its plan to provide unlimited talk, text, and data for AT&T wireless and AT&T PREPAID customers in areas most affected by Hurricane Florence. The company also launched dedicated channels on DIRECTV and U-verse to cover real-time updates on the hurricane’s movement inland.
- CenturyLink has initiated its disaster preparedness plan, which includes readying emergency crews and equipment, making sure generators are fully functioning, and communicating closely with government agencies and first responders.
- Frontier has activated its Emergency Response Center which will serve as the nerve center for managing the impacts and aftermath of Hurricane Florence. The company has made sure it has enough fuel for the fleet and emergency generators to keep things up and running during the storm and its aftermath. These strategies allowed Frontier to keep its services up and running during Hurricane Hermine in 2016.
- Verizon has moved critical repair teams and equipment like mobile hotspots, charging stations, and disaster response trailers to the East Coast to support continued service and quick repairs in case of infrastructure damage. In addition, the company has lifted speed caps and restrictions for first responders in impacted states.
- Windstream launched a Storm Center webpage to track hurricane updates from the company and outline its disaster preparedness plan, which includes placing portable generators in the areas of potential impact and preparing emergency supplies.
Broadband providers work year-around to harden their networks in case of natural disasters, so when storms come full force, our companies know how to answer the call to action.
Be sure to also check out the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) Hurricane Florence storm assistance page for safety tips, public notices, and emergency contact information.
We hope everyone on the East Coast stays safe and sound.