WASHINGTON D.C. and BASKING RIDGE, NJ — On the opening day of the 2011 Hurricane Season, Verizon Wireless President and Chief Executive Officer Dan Mead today told a White House meeting of federal, state and community leaders on emergency preparedness that Verizon Wireless stands ready to serve customers in the event of a major storm or emergency.
“Today’s meeting was a very good opportunity for us to reaffirm our commitment to federal and state authorities as well as our customers that we are determined to respond quickly and effectively with vital wireless communications when our communities are struck by hurricanes or any other disaster,” said Mead. “The wireless industry is a strong and important partner with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and others in responding to hurricanes and other disasters. Our own first responders live and work in these towns and cities and have the skills and resources that can help a stricken community. We are eager to contribute to recovery efforts when the need arises.”
The comments followed a meeting at the White House held today by President Barack Obama that included Mead, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano; FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate; American Red Cross President and CEO Gail McGovern; NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco; National Hurricane Center Director Bill Reid, and North Carolina Governor Bev Purdue.
Mead said Verizon Wireless prepares year-round for natural disasters and other emergencies to provide customers with reliable wireless coverage. The company invests an average of $6.5 billion annually to build, maintain and enhance its nationwide wireless network, and takes measures to maintain its own operations to serve its communities in the event of a catastrophe.
“When disaster strikes, we are able to muster resources from within and from outside the impacted area to quickly enable and enhance communications for first responders and victims alike,” said Mead. “We stand ready to deploy mobile cell sites on wheels to provide greater calling capacity when it is needed – as demonstrated most recently in crises throughout the South and Midwest this year.” (See more below.)
Verizon Wireless business continuity and disaster recovery capabilities include:
- A nationwide fleet of mobile cell site and related equipment, including Cells on Wheels (COWs), Cells on Light Trucks (COLTs), and Generators on a Trailer (GOATs) that can be rolled into hard-hit locations or areas that need extra network capacity, or where cell sites require independent electrical power to continue operating.
- Pre-arranged fuel delivery to mobile units and generators to keep the network operating at full strength even if power is lost for an extended period of time.
- Business continuity/disaster recovery plans so the company can continue vital operations to serve customers during emergency situations. Verizon Wireless conducts hundreds of emergency exercises each year, simulating events such as natural disasters, transportation disruptions and power outages to ensure its preparedness in the markets it serves across the United States.
The company’s commitment to network reliability, business continuity and disaster preparedness have proven critical during and after past hurricanes and other disasters. Most recently, Verizon Wireless network teams worked round the clock following the devastating tornadoes in Alabama to fix cell sites damaged in the storms and increase capacity. See a video of Verizon Wireless’ support in Alabama.
- News release: Verizon Wireless Urges Floridians to Prepare an Emergency Communication Plan For Hurricane Season.
- “We Keep You Connected When You Count on Us the Most” takes viewers to Verizon Wireless cell sites, mobile cell sites, switches and other network operations to show how the company prepares for hurricane season and other natural disasters.
- Tips for preparing disaster communications plans and videos with details about Verizon Wireless’ preparations before, during and after an emergency are available at www.verizonwireless.com/emergencypreparedness.
- The latest network-related news, information and upgrades are available on Twitter at http://twitter.com/VZWNetwork.
About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless operates the nation’s fastest, most advanced 4G network and largest, most reliable 3G network. The company serves 104 million total wireless connections, including more than 88 million retail customers. Headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., with 85,000 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.