AT&T’s Update on Supporting Maui Wildfire Relief Efforts

Elizabeth Songvilay – Director – External Affairs, AT&T Hawai‘i
August 25, 2023
Community Impact

AT&T’s Update on Supporting Maui Wildfire Relief Efforts

Our attention, resources and hearts are with the people of Maui and across Hawai‘i as we work together to support relief efforts in the wake of this terrible tragedy.

Our FirstNet Response Operations Group (ROG), AT&T Network Disaster Recovery (NDR) and local network teams worked around the clock in the wake of the wildfires to safely assess damage and restore service to impacted areas. As a result, we were able to restore AT&T coverage to all impacted areas in Maui County, including West Maui, by August 19. 

Of course, our work is not done. Our network teams continue to focus on permanent connectivity solutions for some cell sites in West Maui that have been restored but are operating on satellite and microwave connections. We understand how critical it is for our customers and first responders to stay connected in times like this. We will continue to work closely with Federal, State and local officials, provide additional updates, and share news and resources as recovery work continues.

Although our network restoration work is underway, we have heard that there are many who lost their devices in the fires. In response, we continue to work through a coordinated effort to provide devices to a non-profit who will distribute them to those who need it most We want to mahalo our friends at Motorola, Samsung, and Google for generously providing devices for this effort.

Network on-air, including restored and portable cell sites

The graphic below depicts AT&T’s restored and portable cell sites, as of 2:00 PM HST, August 19, 2023.

NOTE: This visual is for illustrative purposes only and is not representative of the exact or all locations of cell sites in Maui County or the coverage area of individual sites. Temporary sites may be taken off air temporarily to conduct maintenance or may be changed to respond to local needs. This visual does not include additional assets deployed throughout West Maui for the sole purpose of providing FirstNet, Built with AT&T, services to public safety’s efforts. FirstNet assets in this map are dedicated to public safety’s use and are made available for AT&T customers as network capacity allows.

Deployable assets utilized in our response

In addition to overall network restoration efforts, our ROG and NDR teams utilized a wide variety of portable network assets to support public safety and the local community, bolstering communications throughout West Maui.

Deployable assets utilized in our response included:

Five portable cell sites that have been critical to restoring our coverage in Lāhainā.

IMAGE: Cell technicians set up a portable cell site in the center of Lāhainā that has been providing wireless service for customers.

Some of our portable cell sites, like the one pictured below, were set up to provide connectivity dedicated to support public safety’s response efforts in the disaster area.

IMAGE: FirstNet portable cell site in Lāhainā

A Mini CRD (Compact Rapid Deployable) was used to provide wireless coverage and Wi-Fi for first responders in Kā‘anapali.

IMAGE: A Mini CRD (Compact Rapid Deployable) on the rooftop of a hotel near Black Rock Beach in Kā‘anapali.

Teams also restored an existing cell site in Kā‘anapali by connecting to a portable satellite, known as an ECP (Emergency Communications Portable).

IMAGE: Restored cell site in Kā‘anapali using an ECP (Emergency Communications Portable).

Deployable for a different kind of support

The mental, emotional and physical toll that the Maui community and others who have been impacted have experienced in the past two weeks is devastating. To provide comfort, “ROG the Dog” visited with local public safety agencies on Maui to provide animal-assisted therapy and help those on the frontlines be at their best. 

IMAGE: FirstNet “ROG the Dog” Hoku at the Maui Dispatch Center.

For more on what we’re doing to support public safety’s response to the wildfires, check out this blog by Jim Bugel, President of FirstNet® at AT&T.

Additional support for our customers and impacted Maui residents

To support impacted residents who have been displaced or remain without power, we’ve set up a charging station at our AT&T retail store in Kahului and extended our 25% off power accessories offer at our store through August 31. At this time, our hours of operation are 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. HST.

To help our customers stay connected, we are waiving overage charges to provide unlimited talk, text and data for AT&T Postpaid & PREPAID customers with billing zip codes in Maui County through September 7.

Text-to-Give Campaign Details

We continue to encourage support for the American Red Cross, Hawai‘i Community Foundation, Salvation Army and Information Technology Disaster Resource Center. 100% of the funds donated to these organizations will go directly to immediate emergency assistance and long-term community recovery efforts.

Text HAWAII to 90999 to make a one-time donation of $10 to the American Red Cross. The American Red Cross was first on the scene, helping anyone and everyone in need after this disaster. Once it was safe, Red Cross teams began helping with damage assessment and are prepared to expand relief efforts when needed.

Text WILDFIRES to 501501 to make a one-time $10 donation to the Hawaii Community Foundation. The Hawaii Community Foundation is working closely with state and county leaders, nonprofit organizations, businesses, and philanthropists to understand their community’s quickly evolving priorities clearly and aid in rapid response and recovery.

Text WILDFIRES to 52000 to make a one-time $10 donation to The Salvation Army National Corporation (Beneficiary The Salvation Army of Hawaii). The Salvation Army is quickly responding to Hawaii wildfires by raising funds to provide food, shelter, emotional and spiritual care, and other much-needed services to those affected on the Big Island and Maui.

Text CONNECT to 20222 to make a one-time $10 donation to the Information Technology Disaster Resource Center. The Information Technology Disaster Resource Center team is assessing unmet needs on Maui to ensure survivors stay charged up and connected.

Helping where we can 

Our entire AT&T ‘ohana is truly grateful to all who joined in response efforts, many of whom were impacted by the fires themselves. This includes our courageous team members who have been onsite and online 24/7 tirelessly working to restore connectivity and assist impacted customers who lost far too much. 

The journey towards recovery for Lāhainā, Maui and all of Hawai‘i will be a long one – AT&T will continue to offer what support we can today and we will be here as the community recovers and plans for tomorrow.  

We encourage you to access our website as a resource where we will continue to include the latest on our network restoration efforts and support for our customers and the Maui community.