As Irma threatens, Verizon offers tips for staying connected during severe weather
As Hurricane Irma’s impact could reach inland Georgia, including Metro Atlanta, as a tropical storm, now is an important time to stop and ensure you and your loved ones are prepared to stay connected if and when the superstorm makes landfall in the U.S. Verizon is there with you when you need us.
The reliability of your wireless network is never more important than when a crisis strikes. That's when a simple call or text message can keep you connected and be the most important communication you make in times of an emergency.
“We prepare year-round to keep you connected when you need it most,” said Sergei Mislevy, executive director for network assurance for Verizon Wireless. “Our network is designed with end-to-end reliability in mind – for individuals, businesses, emergency responders and everyone who needs connectivity when the unexpected happens.”
The following statement is from Russ Preite, president – Southeast Market:
“While there is still some uncertainty about Hurricane Irma’s direction and impact, our teams have been working tirelessly to prepare. We have been engaged from the southern tip of Florida up through Virginia to ensure our network provides the life-saving connectivity needed during times like these. We stand ready to support our employees, customers, government officials, first responders and the impacted communities before, during and after the storm. Once we are able to better assess where the impact will be, we are prepared to provide data relief for our customers in the hardest hit areas.”
- Preparing and staging refueling services throughout Florida, Georgia, Virginia, and South Carolina so if commercial power is lost, our network facilities can continue to run indefinitely on generator back up.
- Pre-staging replacement and backup equipment for rapid recovery of impacted facilities.
- Deployment and pre-staging of mobile equipment including Cells on Wheels (COWs), Generators on a Truck (GOATs) and Cellular Repeaters on Wheels (CROWs), Satellite Pico Cell on a Trailer (SPOTs) to move into impacted areas that need additional service or coverage.
- Preparing and pre-staging the Wireless Emergency Communications Center (WECC)
- Coordinating security passes and communication lines with local, state and federal Emergency Operations Centers.
- Setting up our Wireless Emergency Operation Center which will activate and run 24x7 throughout the duration of the storm.
In addition, we are supporting our U.S. customers who have friends and family in the Caribbean by providing free wireless and wireline calling to the Caribbean nations.
Here are a few things you can do to prepare when severe weather threatens.
1. Charge your devices before a storm hits, including smartphones, laptops, tablets, DVD players, flashlights and radios; to preserve battery life, dim the background light on your screen and turn off background data applications or Wi-Fi search services
2. Create a list of emergency phone numbers and email addresses, including police, fire and rescue agencies; power companies; insurance providers; and family, friends and co-workers. Program them into your phone, smartphone, tablet or laptop and also have a hard copy handy, someplace easily accessible
3. Text, don't call. When communicating with family during an emergency situation, opt for brief text messages rather than voice calls. Text messages are likely to get through more quickly in a crisis
4. Program your smartphone to receive emergency alerts. Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEAs) are free wireless notifications that are delivered to your mobile device as part of a public safety system
5. Know your apps:
- Download weather applications and alerts that provide users with a variety of information such as radar images, forecasts and severe storm warnings
- Download apps and subscribe to alerts from aid and relief organizations such as the American Red Cross' apps for first aid, hurricane and shelter, and the Commercial Mobile Alert System from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
- Use your free flashlight app. All smartphones have a free flashlight app in case the power goes out
6. Backup your information on Verizon Cloud. Verizon Wireless offers backup assistance through the Verizon cloud to store your phone's address book and contact information as well as pictures and other content on a secure server
For more information on the Verizon Wireless network, visit www.verizonwireless.com.