Verizon’s network continues to function well in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, as tens of thousands of Verizon engineers, technicians and customer-service employees continue to bring back voice and data communications, Internet and TV service to consumers, business and government clients.
When heavy weather is expected, Verizon takes steps to secure its network, minimize any impacts on the communications network, and restore service as quickly as possible, when needed. But consumers also should be aware of steps they can take to keep their personal communications intact.
Consumers Should Keep Corded and Verizon Wireless Phones Handy
Consumers should consider getting a corded phone that can be plugged into a telephone jack. Even though the Verizon dialtone may be present at the home, a cordless handset will probably not work during a power outage, even though Verizon may still be providing service to the home.
If you are a Verizon FiOS customer, backup power is supplied from a Battery Backup Unit (BBU.) The BBU will provide power for standard fiber-based voice service or FiOS Digital Voice service, but not other services, for up to 8 hours. BBU availability depends in part on usage; for example, receiving calls uses power to ring the phones and would reduce the available backup power time.
Consumers should also keep a list of emergency numbers handy and make emergency plans with their families when they see a hurricane approaching their area. In addition, customers should make sure they have extra batteries and other supplies. Having a charged Verizon Wireless phone is another good backup option – especially if residents cannot stay in their home after a storm.
Small businesses that use key phone systems or small PBXs should have a regular landline, possibly a fax line, to use for emergency calling in power outages, again via a corded telephone.
Verizon Wireless Offers Consumers Tips on a Personal Emergency Communications Plan
Verizon Wireless offers the following tips to help wireless customers get the most out of their phones, smartphones and other wireless devices in preparation for an emergency and to stay connected in the event of one:
Maintain a list of emergency phone numbers and email addresses – police, fire, and rescue agencies; power companies; insurance providers; family, friends and co-workers; etc. – and program them into your phone, smartphone, tablet or laptop.
In your phone’s contact list, store the number of a person to contact under the contact name ICE (In Case of Emergency). In an emergency, if you are seriously injured or disabled, authorities will be quickly know who to call in an emergency should you be unable to.
Distribute wireless phone numbers and email addresses to family members and friends.
Forward your home phone calls to your wireless number if you will be away or need to evacuate.
Practice sending text messages.
Social media and email accounts can serve as a way for you, your family and friends to stay connected. Set up those accounts on your Internet capable devices as a way to stay connected with status and location updates.
Set up your work email and server log-in (when allowed) to your wireless device to stay updated with co-workers in the event of emergency office closures.
Develop a systematic evacuation and communications plan with family and friends that includes what to do, who calls who, where to go, and what supplies and items you will take with you.