BEDMINSTER, NJ — With another active hurricane season predicted this year, Verizon Wireless is urging residents in hurricane-prone areas to prepare an emergency communications plan for the 2006 season, which begins on June 1.
Verizon Wireless, which made intensive preparations to maintain strong network coverage during the extraordinary storm seasons of 2004 and 2005, offers residents these tips to be safer during hurricanes and other times of crisis:
- 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 will be away from your home or have to evacuate.
The company also urges the following actions once a storm is on the way:
- 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 available through many Internet-connected wireless phones, and through other wireless phone applications, when power is out.
Verizon Wireless has continued the comprehensive preparations and large 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.
(Editors: Video footage with helpful tips for consumers to prepare for hurricanes and other severe weather is available in the Verizon Wireless Multimedia Library at www.verizonwireless.com/multimedia.
To accompany local test men and women in areas where hurricane preparedness is under way, contact Tom Pica at 908-306-4385 or Thomas.Pica@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.