Hurricanes, Floods or Fires – Verizon Prepares for Mother Nature’s Worst

Planning and preparedness are the best defense against emergency situations

After one of the worst winters in recent memory, the focus for many of us turns to the June 1 official opening of the 2014 Atlantic hurricane season. While the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center forecasts a quieter season, that’s a relative term when a Category Three storm is bearing down on you.

But hurricanes aren’t the only curves Mother Nature throws at us this time of year. From tornadoes to wildfires, to earthquakes and floods, to damaging winds and severe thunderstorms, there’s plenty to be aware of and prepared for, whether it’s your home or business.

Verizon certainly is paying attention. We constantly monitor weather and other events so that we can continue to serve our customers – consumers, businesses and government agencies – with the nation’s most reliable networks.

“Verizon’s emergency preparedness is a year-round imperative,” said Kent Kildow, Verizon’s director for business continuity and emergency management. “We prepare for all types of events that could affect our business operations and our customers.”

Verizon updates and tests its emergency preparedness plans each year to be ready for a wide range of natural and man-made events. For example, Verizon employees earlier this month conducted an exercise that had two Category Five hurricanes slamming into Mexico and the Florida Keys at the same time, cutting swaths into the midwest and southeastern U.S., respectively.

When a threat looms, Verizon business continuity, network and field operations teams complete necessary preparations, ranging from testing and confirming fuel supplies for backup generators, to stocking critical supplies in centralized locations for rapid deployment to hard-hit areas.

Our employees are on standby to respond to any crisis in the event network equipment is affected or when emergency first-responder or customer support is required.  We also can redeploy employees from unaffected parts of the country to help restore services in hard-hit areas. The company can deploy its hazmat team, called MERIT (Major Emergency Response Incident Team[HJM2] ), within a few hours of receiving an assignment.  

In addition, as we did in the wake of Super Storm Sandy, we can deploy our Emergency Response Mobile Communications Service fleet, which can provide critical communication services for business and government customers anywhere in North America.  Using specially equipped vehicles and trailers, Verizon technical experts can reestablish communications for customers during unplanned disruptions.

Make a Plan

Planning and preparedness are the best defense against emergency situations, and we all should take steps to have a plan – at home or at work.  Several web sites are great references when it comes to emergency preparedness and tips for consumers and businesses.  Check out the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s www.ready.gov, or NOAA’s www.nhc.noaa.gov/prepare

For a short video on customer-readiness tips, see below: 

To provide our customers with up-to-date information, we’ll include updates on preparations for and response to hurricanes or other serious natural or man-made events at www.verizon.com/news,www.verizonwireless.com/news, or http://www.verizonenterprise.com/about/news/