TALLAHASEE, FL — To help Florida residents better prepare for the 2006 hurricane season, mobile phone batteries and chargers will be available tax-free for the first time during this year's hurricane preparation sales tax holiday, May 21 through June 1. During the state's tax-free period, Verizon Wireless will offer an additional 25 percent discount on those and other accessories in its company-owned Verizon Wireless Communications Stores in Florida, giving residents the opportunity to save money and avoid the rush for essential items once actual hurricane warnings go up. Hurricane season starts June 1.
"Floridians know from experience just how important wireless communication can be during hurricane season, so we believe this measure passed by state legislators is essential," said Mike Lanman, Florida region president for Verizon Wireless. "Proper planning is critical to staying safe, and we urge residents to include emergency communication plans in their hurricane preparations."
Experience in past hurricane seasons demonstrated that customers who had extra, fully charged cell phone batteries and used cell phone chargers that plug into automobile cigarette lighters or power outlets were better able to maintain communications-- and even conduct business using laptops with mobile connectivity-- after hurricanes struck and public power was knocked out for extended periods.
Verizon Wireless has continued the significant preparations and investments that kept its network strong even through the destructive storms of past years, while other communication networks often were adversely impacted. Verizon Wireless preparation for the 2006 hurricane season includes:
- The Verizon Wireless network is built for reliability in emergencies, with battery back-up power at all facilities, as well as generators installed at all switching facilities and many cell site locations. This capability is critical when power goes out and if roads are impassable in the wake of a storm.
- The company has a fleet of Cells on Wheels (COWs) and Cells on Light Trucks (COLTs), which are self-powered transmitters that can be rolled into hard-hit locations or areas that need extra network capacity. Network teams also have hundreds of generators ready to go to further strengthen the network.
- Verizon Wireless is fully prepared to again quickly set up wireless emergency communication centers (WECCs) to serve residents and rescue agencies in the area(s) in the greatest need.
- The company has developed and practiced a comprehensive emergency response plan, including preparing emergency command centers in the case of a storm or crisis.
Since its inception, Verizon Wireless has invested $30 billion $5 billion per year on average to increase the coverage and capacity of its national network and to add new services. For more information, visit www.verizonwireless.com.
About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless owns and operates the nation's most reliable wireless network, serving 53 million voice and data customers. Headquartered in Bedminster, NJ, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD). Find more information on the Web at www.verizonwireless.com. To preview and request broadcast-quality video footage and high-resolution stills of Verizon Wireless operations, log on to the Verizon Wireless Multimedia Library at www.verizonwireless.com/multimedia.