May 30, 2024

AT&T Bolsters Storm Readiness with New Maritime and Public Safety Solutions

Corey Anthony
Corey Anthony Corey Anthony, Senior Vice President, Engineering and Operations

Just a few weeks into storm season and it’s already been an active start. During this time, the essential need for dependable connectivity becomes especially clear. This is what motivates us to support our Network Disaster Response (NDR) and FirstNet® Response Operations Group (ROG) teams in having the necessary training and resources to respond to any emergency.

With forecasts from our dedicated meteorologists at the AT&T Weather Operations Center predicting an above-average storm season, we're employing new assets and solutions. Our goal is to keep communities connected throughout the storms. While Mother Nature doesn’t always cooperate, our new equipment and solutions will help communities recover safer and faster when she does strike.

Innovating Disaster Response

For more than three decades, AT&T has been at the forefront of disaster response innovation, with an investment of more than $1 billion in our Network Disaster Recovery (NDR) program over this time period. Past hurricane seasons serve as a reminder of the need for constant innovation. After learning from the team’s experience delivering FirstNet solutions to Sanibel and Pine Island during Hurricane Ian, we’ve introduced a game-changing, 45-foot custom-built landing craft to our maritime fleet. It can transport pickup trucks, FirstNet Compact Rapid Deployables (CRDs), and other essential solutions.

The landing craft also enhances self-sufficiency and reduces our reliance on local communities – this is critically important when resources are already severely constrained. This vessel, alongside the rest of the maritime fleet, is part of the more than 750 pieces of specialized response equipment that traverse land, sea and air and can quickly deploy before, during and after any storm.

Supporting Public Safety

As America’s public safety network, FirstNet, Built with AT&T is focused on reliably connecting first responders in any emergency and disaster. FirstNet ROG – led by former first responders – works in tandem with the AT&T NDR team to make sure recovery assets will be where they are needed the most. Agencies on FirstNet have access to their own dedicated nationwide fleet of more than 180 portable network assets, as well as the benefit of AT&T NDR assets like the new landing craft. This year, ROG has deployed over 500 solutions in response to incidents and disasters.

“We support our nation’s first responders around the clock with a focus on enhancing public safety’s ability to communicate and safely provide emergency response,” said Jim Bugel, President – FirstNet, AT&T. “Through our public-private partnership, public safety has access to their own dedicated fleet of assets and experts as well as industry-leading equipment from AT&T NDR when needed – all at no additional charge. It’s just one more way we provide an unprecedented level of support to help first responders stay mission ready.”

We’ve also recently made critical updates to FirstNet Push-to-Talk and FirstNet Messaging, introducing new features such as discreet listening and enhanced group and interagency coordination. These improvements are designed to strengthen communication among first responders during any circumstance. Additionally, this past February, the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet Authority) announced a series of strategic investments that will deliver more coverage, capabilities and capacity for first responders — keeping themselves and our communities safer. 

Living Our Purpose

Our NDR and ROG team members are at the heart of every deployment, expertly managing every situation. Each team member truly lives and breathes our purpose, and you see that in the videos below:

The innate ability of the NDR and ROG teams to adapt and innovate is what allows us to respond effectively and support communities when they need it the most. Whether facing hurricanes, wildfires, blizzards, tornadoes, or any other emergency, AT&T is there to keep our communities connected.

To learn more about our disaster preparedness program and how customers can prepare for future events, visit AT&T Disaster Recovery.

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