Grab your coats, hats and battery chargers… snow is on the way! Winter Storm Jonas is threatening parts of the U.S., and our engineers and technicians are busily preparing the network to ensure customers can connect with their families and the resources they need when they need them most. Significant snowfalls can impact people’s ability to get out and about, can cause property damage, and in many cases can cause power outages. Whether we get two inches or two feet of snow and ice, the Verizon networks will be ready.
Anchoring our network coverage throughout the nation are our switch processing centers. These facilities – handling tens of millions of wireless connections even on a crisis-free day - feature large-scale, on-site power generators and other back-up systems to ensure the company’s network remains strong, running and reliable. Based at the switch sites are “mobile menageries” of Cells On Wheels (COWs), Cells On Light Trucks (COLTs), Cellular Repeaters On Wheels (CROWs) and Generators On A Trailer (GOATs) that can be deployed at hard-hit locations or areas needing extra wireless capacity.
Our cell sites are ready, too. We have installed back-up generators and batteries at cell sites across the country to maintain wireless communication even in the event of a prolonged power outage. In conjunction with the generators, we have pre-arranged fuel delivery in case of a storm, and will have tankers poised and in position to quickly respond.
During severe weather or an emergency, we want our customers and communities to feel confident in our network’s coverage and strength. In addition to network preparations, we work to ensure residents of impacted areas can reach loved ones and start personal recovery by readying mobile stores, mobile communications centers and charging stations for deployment, as well as collaborating with local response agencies to prepare emergency equipment. We have always and will always stand beside our communities and provide needed support during times of severe weather and other emergencies. That’s just who we are.
We want you to be ready, too! Here are a few tips to prepare for your individual communications needs:
- Store phones, tablets, batteries, chargers and other equipment in a dry, accessible location. Simple zip-lock storage bags will shield devices, and today there are many waterproof phones, cases and other protective accessories.
- Keep phone and tablet batteries fully charged – in case local power is lost – well before warnings are issued.
- Have additional charged batteries and car-charger adapters available for back-up power. Numerous chargers, including solar-powered devices, make it easy to stay powered up.
- Maintain a list of emergency numbers – police and fire agencies; power and insurance companies; family, friends and co-workers; etc. – and program them into your wireless devices before an emergency arises.
- Use a free service such as Verizon Cloud, which provides 5GB of data storage, to save your contacts and other important information on a secure server in case your phone or tablet is lost or damaged.
- Use your tablet to photograph and catalogue your valuables and other household belongings for possible insurance claims.
- Choose from hundreds of free weather, news, and safety-related apps and services for smartphones and tablets. Some of which include the American Red Cross app, Weather: Universal Forecast, The Weather Channel, Weather Underground, and NOAA Now and other mobile resources from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
We work hard throughout the year to ensure you can maintain communication during severe weather and we encourage you to prepare as well. Wireless communication can be essential for reaching the resources and people you need.
You can reach Verizon a number of different ways. Visit Support page to report service related issues, receive alerts, request repair and find helpful service-related FAQs. You can also contact Verizon at 1-800-VERIZON or use the Verizon In-Home Agent application on your PC to diagnose and fix problems. Small business customers can also visit the Support page. Medium business and enterprise customers should contact their regular customer service centers or account teams, as needed.
For updates on Verizon’s response to severe weather in your area, please follow @VerizonNewson Twitter.
- Keeping You Prepared & Connected When Disaster Strikes
- The My Fios app - available on Mac and Windows - can be used for additional support through cell phones and access limited TV programing like watching the news.
Karen Schulz manages public relations for Verizon Wireless in the Carolinas and Tennessee. Karen writes about 4G LTE’s impact throughout the region, and Verizon’s community efforts. She has extensive experience in the areas of public relations, marketing and community relations and has worked with numerous nonprofit and community development organizations in the Carolinas.