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DHS Certifies AT&T in Disaster Preparedness

Friday, May 11, 2012 - 8:48am

Like we've seen in the past few days the weather can change at any moment and natural disasters come just as fast.

AT&T is the first company in the country to earn a certification for disaster preparedness from the Department of Homeland Security.

When a natural disaster hits, there's nothing more important than staying safe, getting help or talking to your loved ones.

"If your child is at school and you're far away from them you need to be able to be in contact with them," the spokesperson for AT&T Alejandra Arango said.

"Communications is so important after an emergency and it could be a disaster it could be almost anything, a chemical spill or evacuation. You need to be able to get into touch with your family members very quickly," Mark Matthys from the American Red Cross said.

AT&T and the Red Cross are teaming up to help the community and make sure those lines of communication are open and available.

"We're very proud that we just received this certification with the Department of homeland security for our disaster preparedness. Basically, it means after a disaster were quick to pick up the network because we know how important is for customers or for anybody to communicate with their families with their loved ones to make sure everything is okay," Arango said.

We all know that phone calls don't always go through during severe weather, but there is a plan in place.

"Mobile towers are on back up power generation and so you're able to send a short message like a text message which is just a few characters as opposed to picking up the phone," Matthys said.

Extra charged batteries are also a plus.

"There are lots of charging devices that you can hook multiple radios or cell phones to which makes a lot of sense so the whole family can share that," Matthys said.

Or even buying a phone that can handle almost anything.

It's just one of the techniques AT&T is using to improve their response to natural disasters.

"In years past it has taken a little bit longer and we realize what that means so we made a huge investment in our network in El Paso it's been over $60 million in the last 2 years," Arango said.

So that you can get the help you need when you need it the most.

Click here to download APPs from the Red Cross that can help you when a disaster occurs.

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