Is your family prepared to communicate during Hurricane Matthew?

To help you connect with your families and the resources you need when bad weather threatens, our network teams prepare year-round for natural disasters and other emergencies.  As Hurricane Matthew approaches the east coast of the US, now is the time for you to prepare as well to ensure your family has an emergency communications plan.  

Here are five Hurricane Preparedness tips to help you and your family plan ahead:

1. Make sure the whole family is prepared to communicate.

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. When severe weather hits, send text messages to limit voice calls to conserve battery and free up wireless networks for emergency agencies and operations.

2. Plan ahead for connectivity in case power is lost.

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 and hand-cranked devices, make it simple to stay powered up.

3. Know how to track the storm.

Choose from hundreds of free weather-, news- and safety-related apps and services for smartphones and tablets, the American Red Cross app, The Weather Channel, Weather Underground, and NOAA Now and other mobile resources from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

4. Save important contacts ahead of the storm.

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. Also, 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.

5. Choose a wireless company with a track record of running to a crisis.

The Verizon network is built to be the most reliable for individuals, businesses, emergency responders and anyone who needs to stay connected… especially in the case of an emergency. Verizon has a long track record of doing all it can to keep our networks – and our customers – connected.