LOUISVILLE, Ky., Dec. 15, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- In response to upcoming winter weather and to prepare for this week's snow and ice forecast across Kentucky, AT&T* is providing important communications tips for use before, during and after a storm to holiday travelers across the Commonwealth.
AT&T Winter Storm Tips:
Have a family communications plan in place. Designate someone out of the area as a central contact, and make certain that all family members know whom to contact if they become separated. Most important, practice your emergency plan in advance.
Use text messaging. During an emergency situation, text messages will often go through quicker than voice calls because they require less network resources. All of AT&T's wireless devices are text messaging capable.
Take advantage of weather text-alert programs. AT&T participates in a number of text alert school closing notification programs. The company's customers should check their local news websites to see if weather related text alert programs are available in their area.
Make sure you have a "Winter Storm Phone." It is a good idea to have a wireless phone on hand and at least one corded (landline) telephone that is not dependent on electricity in case of a power outage. Cordless telephones usually have receivers that require electricity, so they won't work if you lose your power.
Keep non-emergency calls to a minimum. If there is severe weather, chances are many people will be attempting to place calls to loved ones, friends and business associates.
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.
Keep your wireless phone's battery charged at all times. Have an alternative plan to recharge your battery in case of a power outage, such as charging your wireless device by using a car charger or having extra charged mobile phone batteries or disposable mobile phone batteries on hand.
Keep your wireless phone dry. The biggest threat to your device during a storm is water, so keep your equipment safe from the elements by storing it in a baggie or some other type of protective covering.
Track the storm and access weather information on your wireless device. Many homes lose power during severe weather. If you have a wireless device that provides access to the Internet, you can watch weather reports and get regular updates on your phone.
Take advantage of location-based mapping technology. Services such as AT&T Navigator and AT&T FamilyMap can help you avoid traffic congestion from downed trees or power lines, as well as track a family member's wireless device in case you get separated.
Use your camera phone, take photos — even video clips — of damaged property for your insurance company from your device.
AT&T monitors and maintains its networks 24/7 and conducts readiness drills throughout the year to ensure that the networks and personnel are ready to respond in a moment's notice.
AT&T's wireless network storm preparations include:
- Adding capacity to the wireless network to accommodate increased call volume.
- Testing the high-capacity backup batteries located at every cell site.
- Maintaining a robust backup power plan which includes a new fiber network that is made up of nine different segments with highly protected routes that span across Kentucky and Tennessee. This state-of-the-art system is highly reliable and is designed to remain operational even during extreme weather conditions.
- Topping off generators with fuel at cell sites and central and field-level switching facilities.
- Staging mobile cell sites and portable generators in safe locations for their immediate deployment once a storm has passed.
- Expanding the number of fixed power generators at our wireless cell sites. These permanent generators are in addition to the battery backup power that we have at every wireless cell site across Kentucky.
"We have taken steps to ensure our wireless networks are ready and we're committed to keeping our Kentucky customers connected to their world, everywhere they live and work, regardless of what Mother Nature may have in mind," said Jim Thorpe, vice president and general manager for AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets in Tennessee and Kentucky.
AT&T representatives at AT&T Kentucky retail store locations can also provide additional tips for charging extra cell phone batteries and learning how to text. More information on the company's disaster preparedness can be found at: www.att.com/vitalconnections
*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.
AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) is a premier communications holding company. Its subsidiaries and affiliates – AT&T operating companies – are the providers of AT&T services in the United States and around the world. With a powerful array of network resources that includes the nation's fastest mobile broadband network, AT&T is a leading provider of wireless, Wi-Fi, high speed Internet and voice services. A leader in mobile broadband, AT&T also offers the best wireless coverage worldwide, offering the most wireless phones that work in the most countries. It also offers advanced TV services under the AT&T U-verse® and AT&T |DIRECTV brands. The company's suite of IP-based business communications services is one of the most advanced in the world. In domestic markets, AT&T Advertising Solutions and AT&T Interactive are known for their leadership in local search and advertising. In 2010, AT&T again ranked among the 50 Most Admired Companies by FORTUNE® magazine.
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SOURCE AT&T Inc.