Staying connected this hurricane season: 6 tips
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NEW YORK - The start of hurricane season on June 1 is a good time to stop and ensure you and your loved ones are prepared to stay connected if and when severe weather strikes. Verizon is there with you when you need us.
The reliability of your wireless network is never more important than when a crisis strikes. That's when a simple call or text message can keep you connected and be the most important communication you make in times of an emergency.
Verizon builds reliability into every aspect of our wireless network to keep you connected when you need it most. "Our 4G LTE network is the largest in the country, and providing the broadest coverage is just the start. Our network is designed with end-to-end reliability in mind – for individuals, businesses, emergency responders and everyone who needs to stay connected," said Nicola Palmer, chief network officer of Verizon Wireless. "Having the most reliable network makes a major difference when it really matters."
Reliability starts when Verizon chooses the safest, most secure locations for its wireless equipment. The likelihood of hurricanes, earthquakes, and risk from wildfires, mudslides, floods and more are all considered.
Measures our network engineers take to be prepared for severe weather include:
- Backup generators at cell sites and switching centers keep the network running and customers connected when commercial power is lost.
- Backup batteries, which add a second layer of power redundancy.
- Pre-arranged fuel deliveries in case of a storm, with tankers poised and in position to quickly respond to hard-hit areas to refuel generators.
- A fleet of portable emergency equipment that can be deployed quickly to keep customers connected.
- Elevated cell sites on stilts in hurricane-prone areas.
- The use of drones to rapidly assess potential damage to the network in areas inaccessible due to conditions like flooding.
And when disaster strikes, we coordinate with first responders and can mobilize charging stations, special equipment, emergency vehicles and more to support local, state and federal agencies.
Being crisis-ready and crisis-proven is central to our preparations. "Reliability is in our DNA. We live it every day and will continue to work year-round to ensure our customers can count on us to stay connected. We take that responsibility very seriously," added Palmer.
Tips to help you prepare for severe weather
We prepare all year long to keep you and your loved ones connected when you need it most. Here are a few things you can do to prepare as well.
1. Charge your devices before a storm hits, including smartphones, laptops, tablets, DVD players, flashlights and radios; to preserve battery life, dim the background light on your screen and turn off background data applications or Wi-Fi search services
2. Create a list of emergency phone numbers and email addresses, including police, fire and rescue agencies; power companies; insurance providers; and family, friends and co-workers. Program them into your phone, smartphone, tablet or laptop and also have a hard copy handy, someplace easily accessible
3. Text, don't call. When communicating with family during an emergency situation, opt for brief text messages rather than voice calls. Text messages are likely to get through more quickly in a crisis
4. Program your smartphone to receive emergency alerts. Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEAs) are free wireless notifications that are delivered to your mobile device as part of a public safety system
5. Know your apps:
- Download weather applications and alerts that provide users with a variety of information such as radar images, forecasts and severe storm warnings
- Download apps and subscribe to alerts from aid and relief organizations such as the American Red Cross' apps for first aid, hurricane and shelter, and the Commercial Mobile Alert System from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
- Use your free flashlight app. All smartphones have a free flashlight app in case the power goes out
6. Backup your information on Verizon Cloud. Verizon Wireless offers backup assistance through the Verizon cloud to store your phone's address book and contact information as well as pictures and other content on a secure server