Keeping the lines of communication open after a disaster

When a tornado touched down in Quapaw, Oklahoma, in April 2014, business, utilities, city services—almost everything—was disrupted for residents of the little town just outside of Joplin, Missouri.

But communications were online within hours with the help of the AT&T Network Disaster Recovery team. Within 24 hours of a disaster, team members—AT&T managers, engineers, and technicians who have received special training in the physical recovery of the AT&T Network—respond with specialized equipment that re-establishes voice and data communications quickly and get the network back up and running.

The NDR team supports first responders and relief agencies by helping ensure critical phone calls and text messages can go through. Team members also help make it possible for companies in a hard-hit area to restore their systems, communicate with employees and partners, and secure their businesses.

Established in 1991, the NDR team today has more than 30 permanent members in the U.S. and United Kingdom, over 100 volunteer members from across AT&T, and more than 320 pieces of network recovery equipment. It has been deployed to more than 70 emergencies, including Super Storm Sandy, Hurricane Irene, and the 2010 earthquake in Santiago, Chile.

The NDR team prepares for the unexpected by conducting full-scale disaster recovery exercises in the U.S. and abroad. At these drills, team members are given hands-on training on new technologies and the recovery equipment is operated in field conditions.

The next NDR exercise is being held in Chicago May 14-20. On May 19, AT&T will host a Technology Leaders Forum. As part of that event, attendees will have an opportunity to tour the NDR exercise site, learn about the team’s recovery processes, and see the recovery equipment. The forum and exercise are open to AT&T customers and partners, and to other interested business leaders. Business customers can get more information on the AT&T Technology Leaders Forum website. Government customers who would like to attend can sign up at the forum’s public sector website.

You can also read more about the NDR program.

Robert Desiato Director - Network Disaster Recovery AT&T Technology Operations About Robert