Preparing for severe weather, power outages, and potential disasters.
(Source / AT&T, July 2022)
As California prepares for wildfire season, AT&T is working with our stakeholders to help communities across the State have resources to stay connected during disaster situations.
AT&T is expanding our outreach to our communities, making a specific effort to educate customers at heightened risk during power-outages on ways to stay in communication when power is lost during disaster events, including PSPS events when electric utilities proactively shut off power. Reaching these vulnerable consumers with timely information on how to prepare now for the possibility of a power event is a priority for AT&T. We’re seeking your help to reach out to these communities before and during power shutoffs.
Communicating before disaster events:
We are hoping that you can help us deliver practical information, resources, and tips via email, by posting on social media, or in any other communication to your audiences.
Attached are the “Staying Connected without Power” materials — including a user-friendly fact sheet and social media posts with simple steps that individuals can take to be prepared and stay better connected if their local energy provider shuts down power. The materials are translated into Spanish, simplified Chinese, Vietnamese, and Tagalog. Tips include:
- Keep your wireless phones charged.
- Identify ways to charge when the power is off like your car or portable battery.
- Enable your phone for Wireless Emergency Alerts.
- Forward your landline to your mobile line in an evacuation.
How to Prepare for Disasters and Stay Connected During a Power Outage Preparedness is key. Planning ahead and knowing what actions to take before you find yourself in the midst of a disaster will give you more time to focus on the things that matter when a disaster does strike.
Losing service during a disaster can be not only frustrating, but scary. It is our priority to keep you up to date on service outages, help troubleshoot any issues you may be experiencing with our network.
If you are under a declared disaster warning, find safe shelter right away. If told to evacuate, do so immediately.
- • There may be potential impacts to your phone service as a result of wildfire or power outage events. Consider purchasing a non-cordless phone and the need for backup battery power or generator power at your premises.
- • In advance of fire season, we recommend AT&T customers update their contact information used to receive AT&T issued emergency and outage notices: either online at att.com or by phone at 800.288.2020.
- • If you’re in an area experiencing severe conditions but you have not been told to evacuate, plan to shelter in place, and let friends and family know where you are. Charge all wireless devices in the event that you lose power.
- • For helpful disaster tips and to learn about how we ensure our customers maintain vital communications, go to att.com/disasterrelief.
What Happens During a Power Shutoff In the event of extreme or potentially dangerous weather conditions, electric utilities may initiate a power shutoff off in areas of high fire risk to reduce the risk of electric lines igniting wildfires. These events are not initiated by communications providers, and we do not have control over the timing, scope, or duration of the power shutoff.
How Power Outages or Disaster Events Can Impact AT&T’s Services Like everyone else, we are impacted when electric utilities decide to shut off power or when power is impacted by a disaster event. During an outage or shutoff, our top priority is to maintain communications to the fullest extent possible for first responders and our customers. However, depending on the scope and duration of an outage or shutoff, and our ability to access our facilities, we may not be able to maintain all service throughout all power shutoffs.
We prioritize backup power solutions at our facilities that serve essential community services like police and fire stations, hospitals, and we prioritize areas with limited or no wireless coverage throughout the state.
In some cases where AT&T’s backup power allows us to continue providing service, a customer may still lose phone or internet service during a power shutoff event if they do not have on-site backup power for their wireline equipment (phone, router, etc.), including all cordless phones. Please consider purchasing a non-cordless phone and using an on-site battery backup system to keep your service working during a power outage. That way, you can still call 911 and If you have questions about AT&T’s disaster response, please contact: NAME, AT&T Area Manager External Affairs (111) 111-1111, [email protected] If you are a FirstNet customer, you may also contact your FirstNet point of contact or call 800.574.7000. Maintain home alarms or medical alert services using your on-site backup power. Learn more at www.att.com/batterybackup.
Our Network Is Prepared for Power Outages & Disaster Events Like other electric utility customers, AT&T’s network relies on commercial power. Our network is designed with backup power solutions at multiple points throughout our network, and we have a dedicated team that deploys our fleet of mobile generators to affected areas.
Proactive Preparation – We continue to coordinate directly with electric utilities, the Public Utilities Commission, and the Cal Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) to prepare for power outage or shutoff events and pre-stage backup power solutions.
24/7 Monitoring – Our 24/7 monitoring allows us to identify issues and deploy generators where needed.
Robust Backup Power System – We have multiple layers of protection, backup power solutions, and tested planning and preparation protocols.
- • Both our wireline and wireless networks have backup power capabilities at various points in the network, including batteries and permanent stationary generators.
- • Every one of AT&T’s central offices in California are equipped with on-site generators to supply backup power that can last indefinitely with refueling. The vast majority are equipped to last at least 72 hours without refueling.
- • We deploy additional backup power solutions, including emergency standby generators, when needed during disaster events. Our portable generators meet the California Air Resources Board (CARB) standards that allow for back-up generator use during a power shutoff event. AT&T’s generators help ensure network continuity during power outages and maintain the public’s abiliity to contact 911, receive emergency notifications with a wireless device (such as alerts from public safety officials during wildfires), and communicate with one another.
- • When in use, our generators – both fixed and temporary – are placed on robust refueling schedules.
AT&T Communicates During Power Outages & Disasters
Public Outage Information – We publicly share our network status related to disaster events at att.com/outages. Customers can also log in to check for outages in their area any time, also at att.com/outages.
Local Government and Public Safety Notifications – In accordance with state law, upon notification of a power shutoff event by an electric utility, we notify local public safety agencies, electric utilities, and other stakeholders that we have been notified of a potential power shutoff event.
Network Outage Notifications – Pursuant to state law, we provide outage notifications to Cal OES who is responsible for notifying any applicable county office of emergency services, the sheriff of any county, and any public safety answering point affected by the outage.
Customer Notifications During Power Shutoffs – Once notified that an electric utility is planning to shut off power, we send a text or email to customers in the affected area.