DENVER, CO — Verizon Wireless' cell sites in the path of Thursday's devastating tornadoes in Northern Colorado remained in service and operating on back-up power sources. Network demand surged during and immediately following the powerful storm. The network returned to normal operating performance levels Thursday evening.
The company also dispatched a team of employees to Windsor to help evacuees contact worried friends and family. The team established a wireless command post at the Windsor Community Center equipped with phones for evacuees to make calls and laptops for wireless Internet access.
Weather in Colorado can change dramatically in any season and Verizon Wireless is prepared to respond rapidly to maintain service in the event that weather incidents damage cell sites or other key communications equipment.
Verizon Wireless' reputation as the nation's most reliable wireless network is supported by industry-leading redundancy and maintenance measures. This has proven particularly valuable during natural disasters and other emergencies across the country. In 2007, Verizon Wireless deployed mobile cell sites and other equipment to more than a dozen emergency incidents in the Western United States.
Standard Verizon Wireless network-reliability features include battery back-up power at all facilities as well as generators installed at all switching facilities and many cell site locations.
"The devastation caused by the Windsor tornado affects our customers, communities and employees" said Melanie Braidich, regional president for Verizon Wireless. "We are committed to keeping customers connected."
To help wireless customers prepare a communications plan and stay connected in the event of a weather emergency Verizon Wireless offers the following tips:
- Save emergency phone numbers in your cellphone with one-touch dialing
- Forward your home phone calls to your wireless number if you have to evacuate
- Distribute wireless phone numbers to family members and friends
- Limit non-emergency calls to conserve battery power and free-up wireless networks for emergency agencies and operations
- Send brief text messages rather than making voice calls for the same reasons
- Have additional charged batteries and car-charger adapters available for back-up power
- Keep phones, laptops, PDAs, batteries, chargers and other equipment in a dry, accessible location
- There's no need to find a WiFi hotspot with BroadbandAccess -- Verizon Wireless' high-speed wireless broadband service gives users mobile access to email and the Internet at broadband speeds
Other general preparedness tips:
- Take photos or videos of all personal possessions for insurance purposes
- Have at least $200 in cash in the house for emergencies
- 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
- Have an emergency plan for pets
About Verizon WirelessVerizon Wireless operates the nation's most reliable wireless voice and data network, serving 67.2 million customers. Headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., with 69,000 employees nationwide, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD). For more information, go to: 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.####