LAFAYETTE, TN — As tornadoes swept across the state of Tennessee last week, Verizon Wireless lived up to the company's claim of America's most reliable wireless network. With electricity out, landlines down, and many wireless networks struggling, the Verizon Wireless voice and data network continued at over 95 percent efficiency, as citizens called emergency workers for assistance and loved ones for comfort.
"Verizon Wireless prides itself on maintaining a strong and reliable network," said Carolinas/Tennessee region president, Jerry Fountain. "Most of the company's cell sites are equipped with back up generators. When power goes out, the cell sites switch seamlessly to a backup generator and continue running a process that is transparent to the customers, except for the reassurance that their wireless phones are still operational."
As reports came in Wednesday evening of the tornadoes' impact across the state of Tennessee, Verizon Wireless team members knew more had to be done to help those left homeless by the storm.
In Lafayette, Tenn., a particularly hard hit area, over 1,500 citizens were affected by the storm. In fact, Verizon Wireless received reports that many had lost their wireless phones in the storm or were unable to charge their phones, because electricity was out. The company set up a mobile Verizon Wireless store to accommodate the community. Free replacement phones were distributed, along with car chargers. Many citizens who were not already Verizon Wireless customers were assisted with pre-pay phones equipped with minutes, allowing them to make necessary calls. The mobile store will continue operation through Thursday, Feb. 14. It is located in the parking lot of Davis Electronics at 617 Highway 52 Bypass East, and will be open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. CST.
Additionally, the Verizon Wireless store in nearby Jackson, Tenn., another affected area, began collecting clothing and other needed items for members of the community in need. Those interested in helping citizens of the Jackson area can drop off items at the Jackson Verizon Wireless Store, located at 1128 Vann Drive.
Customers affected by tornadoes can stop by their nearest Verizon Wireless store or call customer service at 1-800-2 JOIN IN.
About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless operates the nation's most reliable wireless voice and data network, serving 65.7 million customers. Headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., with 69,000 employees nationwide, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD). For more information, go to: 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.