BASKING RIDGE, NJ — With thunder and lightning storms, wildfires, power outages and hurricane warnings in the air this summer season, Verizon Wireless, owner and operator of the nation's most reliable wireless network, is offering tips for making consumers' wireless phones an important and reliable part of their personal emergency plan.
Just as Verizon Wireless takes extra steps year round to prepare its network for nature's destructive power, consumers can take some simple steps now to ensure they can rely on their mobile phones if faced with a sudden emergency that knocks out their electrical power or forces them from their homes for extended periods:
- Keep wireless phone batteries fully charged in case a sudden storm knocks out local power.
- Have additional, charged batteries and car-chargers available for back-up when the power goes out at home or office.
- Keep spare wireless phone 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 home or are forced to evacuate.
The company also urges the following actions if you find yourself in a sudden emergency situation:
- 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.
- Check weather and news reports available through many Internet-connected wireless phones, and through other wireless phone applications, when power is out.
Similarly, Verizon Wireless' year-round network preparations keep it ready for emergencies:
- The Verizon Wireless network is designed and built for reliability in emergencies, with battery back-up power at all facilities, as well as electrical generators at switching facilities and many cell site locations. This capability is critical when power goes out and if roads are impassable.
- 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 help power the network in emergencies.
- Verizon Wireless is ready to quickly set up Wireless Emergency Communication Centers (WECCs) to serve communities 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.
About Verizon Wireless Verizon Wireless owns and operates the nation's most reliable wireless network, serving 54.8 million voice and data customers. Headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., 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.####