BIRMINGHAM, AL — With an active hurricane season predicted this year Verizon Wireless, which made intensive preparations to maintain strong network coverage during the extraordinary storm seasons in years past, 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 TXT Messages rather than voice calls for the same reasons as above.
- Check weather and news reports available on many internet-connected and other wireless phones applications when power is out.
"We've seen first hand the need for reliable wireless communication before, during and after an emergency situation, which is why we work year-round to ensure that our network is ready for severe weather," said Jeff Mango, president Alabama/Georgia region for Verizon Wireless. "Because of our continued investment and preparation of our network across the state, we're confident we'll again provide stand-out reliability in Alabama this year."
The Verizon Wireless network is built for reliability in emergencies, with battery back up power at all facilities and for additional reliability, generators installed at all switching facilities, and many cell site locations. The company also owns a fleet of portable generators that can be deployed to provide emergency power during extended power outages to those cell sites without permanent generators. *
Additional Verizon Wireless preparation for the 2007 hurricane season includes:
- Verizon Wireless has invested $37 billion in the last seven years $5 billion on average every year since the company was formed and more than $6 billion in 2006 to increase the coverage and capacity of its national network and to add new services. These improvements fortify Verizon Wireless' network to ensure operations during circumstances such as the hurricane season.
- 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.
- Verizon Wireless has a new Communications Store on wheels* ready to roll. The 35-foot trailer will allow Verizon Wireless to maintain retail operations in areas when company stores are not able to open or when retail services are needed in areas where natural disaster strikes, enabling customers to purchase the wireless phones and accessories they need.
Verizon Communications' national wireline network of central office switching systems has backup power in the form of batteries and backup generators that automatically keep the switch running when commercial electrical power is lost. In addition, Verizon monitors traffic on the network around the clock, and can quickly manage calling and data traffic around problem areas. Much of Verizon's national inter-city network contains redundant and diverse routing so that customers can still make calls if one part of the network is damaged.
For more information about Verizon Wireless, visit www.verizonwireless.com.
* Broadcast and Print Editors: High resolution stills and broadcast-quality video of Verizon Wireless' network assets, its real-life Test Men and Women and other disaster preparedness and recovery material are available in the Verizon Wireless Multimedia Library at www.verizonwireless.com/multimedia.
About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless operates the nation's most reliable wireless voice and data network, serving 60.7 million customers. The largest US wireless company and largest wireless data provider, based on revenues, Verizon Wireless is headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., with 66,000 employees nationwide. The company 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.