01.22.2016Personal Tech

Winter Storm Jonas: Emergency preparation contacts and safety tips

Grab your coats, hats and battery chargers…snow is on the way! With severe weather threatening parts of the U.S., 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.

Verizon’s operations teams continue to closely monitor the storm’s impact on our networks and will deploy repair technicians to the hardest hit areas.

Since our network facilities rely on power to deliver services to customers, we have made sure that back-up batteries and generators at our key network facilities have been tested and fueled to keep power flowing to deliver services to customers in case of prolonged commercial power outages. In addition, Verizon’s disaster recovery fleet of emergency vehicles stands ready for deployment to the affected region, if needed. The fleet includes a 51-foot mobile command center, two 53-foot mobile emergency calling centers, and satellite trailers.

For Verizon customers whose services may be impacted by the storm, you can reach Verizon a number of different ways. Visit www.verizon.com/outage 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 their PC to diagnose and fix problems.

Small business customers can visit www.verizon.com/bizoutage. Medium business and enterprise customers should contact their regular customer service centers or account teams, as needed.  Enterprise customers can also access the Enterprise Center. The My Fios app can be used for additional support through cell phones and access limited TV programing like watching the news.

Tips to stay safe during the storm

  • 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.
  • Review the winter storm checklist and power outage checklist from the American Red Cross
  • 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 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, 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.