WILMINGTON, NC — As Hurricane Earl quickly makes its way to the East Coast, Verizon Wireless, which operates the nation’s most reliable and largest voice and 3G data network, understands the importance of reliable wireless communications and is preparing for the storm. Over the last twenty-four hours, Verizon Wireless has deployed mobile cell towers, mobile stores, mobile generators, Wireless Emergency Communication Centers and personnel to the North Carolina coast in preparation for a quick response to Earl’s possible effects in the Carolinas.
In addition to mobilizing emergency response resources, Verizon Wireless is reaching out to local, state and federal disaster recovery and emergency response organizations providing equipment and consulting on communications plans.
“We have fully prepared our network, operations and personnel for Earl’s potential impact on the East Coast,” says Rich Bulger, Director of Operations and head of the Carolinas Emergency Response Team. “Even though Verizon Wireless prepares our network throughout the year to ensure reliable service for our customers, right now we are specifically focused on putting in place network reinforcements and collaborating with federal, state and local emergency response teams so critical communications will be seamless for everyone.”
Verizon Wireless urges those in the path of Hurricane Earl to be ready by preparing a personal emergency communication plan and offers residents these tips to be safe and ready for severe weather:
Keep wireless phone batteries fully charged – in case local power is lost – well before warnings are issued.
Have additional charged batteries and car-charger adapters available for back-up power.
Keep phones, batteries, chargers and other equipment in a dry, accessible location.
Maintain a list of emergency phone numbers – police, fire, and rescue agencies; power companies; insurance providers; family, friends and co-workers; etc. – and program them into your phone.
Distribute wireless phone numbers to family members and friends.
Forward your home phone calls to your wireless number if you evacuate.
The company also urges the following actions during severe weather:
- Limit non-emergency calls to conserve battery power and free-up wireless networks for emergency agencies and operations.
- Send brief text messages rather than voice calls for the same reasons as above.
- Check weather and news reports on wireless phone applications when power is out.
About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless operates the nation’s most reliable and largest wireless voice and 3G data network, serving more than 92 million customers. Headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., with 79,000 employees nationwide, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE, NASDAQ: VZ) and Vodafone (LSE, NASDAQ: VOD). For more information, visit 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.