AT&T obtains DHS disaster-prep certification

AT&T (NYSE: T) will be able to continue operating its network and delivering services if a disaster like a hurricane strikes or a bombing occurs by becoming the first service provider to be certified under the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Voluntary Private Sector Preparedness Program, or PS-Prep.  

AT&T disaster recovery

AT&T network disaster recovery. Click here to watch the video.

What this DHS designation means is that AT&T will be able to will be able continue route customer traffic, field customer calls and queries, and provide service in operating areas.

"AT&T has a long-standing commitment to business continuity and disaster preparedness," John Stankey, chief strategy officer for AT&T, said in a statement. "The strength of our continuity program coupled with our industry-leading Global Network Operations Center helps us and our customers effectively continue operations during and after emergencies."

Having created a Network Disaster Recovery (NDR) program over 20 years ago, AT&T has plenty of experience in disaster recovery. The telco's NDR team was activated during various disasters including 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, the Gulf Coast oil spill and the Joplin, Mo. tornado. 

Earlier this month, the service provider conducted a full-scale disaster recovery simulation from Feb. 29 to March 6 in Hallandale Beach, Fla., the area where Hurricane Katrina first made landfall in August 2005.

PS-Prep, which is administered by DHS' Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), helps private companies like AT&T plan, respond to, and recover from natural disasters or terrorist threats.

Janet Napolitano, DHS Secretary, hopes that other service providers such as Verizon (NYSE: VZ), which is going to hold its National Disaster Recovery/HAZMAT Exercise in Tampa/Temple Terrace, Florida on March 21, will also certify under their program.

"Private organizations across the country play a vital role in bolstering our disaster preparedness and response capabilities," Napolitano said. "I commend AT&T for achieving PS-Prep certification, and encourage other private sector partners to work with the PS-Prep program to further enhance the readiness and resiliency of our nation."

For more:
- see this blog posting
- here's the DHS release

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