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**Editor’s Note: To access images and b-roll of past storms, Verizon equipment, recovery efforts and more, please visit Verizon’s Emergency Resource Hub at https://www.verizon.com/about/news/emergency-resource-center
BATON ROUGE, LA – As the first major tropical depression of the season makes its way toward the Gulf Coast, the region is bracing for the direct impact of the storm. Whether stocking up on food and water, sandbagging property, reviewing evacuation routes or preparing communications plans, residents and first responders are readying for the weather, and so are we. We are committed to keeping consumers, first responders, public safety teams and enterprise customers connected to loved ones and emergency resources when they need us most.
“Running to a crisis and seeing a community through is fundamental to who we are,” said Kyle Malady, Chief Technology Officer at Verizon. “We have been preparing our network and are ready to support those in the path of Tropical Storm Barry.”
Verizon’s preparations for Tropical Storm Barry
Verizon has made numerous preparations for the impending storm including:
Inspecting backup generators, HVAC systems and fiber rings at cell sites and switching centers to keep the network running and customers connected.
Pre-arranging fuel deliveries, with tankers poised and in position to quickly respond to hard-hit areas in case commercial power is lost.
Staging a fleet of portable emergency equipment that can be deployed quickly to keep customers connected or restore damaged connections as soon as possible.
Adding a fleet of new satellite-equipped portable cell sites and has secured dedicated satellite links for connection.
Preparing surveillance drones to help assess and respond to damage after a storm.
Communicating details about Verizon’s Public Safety Private Core to support public safety, especially during times of high data traffic.
Setting up storm command centers in network facilities that are built to withstand category 5 winds.
Supporting first responders: When disaster strikes, our Verizon Response team is available 24/7/365 and coordinates with first responders. We can mobilize charging stations, devices, special equipment, emergency vehicles and more to support local, state and federal agencies across the US
What can you do to ensure you have personal communications plan?
We encourage you to take these steps to stay connected during the upcoming storm:
Ensure all battery-powered devices are fully charged before the storm hits. This includes wireless phones and smartphones, laptops, tablets, DVD players, flashlights and radios.
Program your smartphone to receive emergency alerts. Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEAs) are free wireless notifications that are delivered to your mobile device by local/national public safety organizations.
Maintain 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 and in some place easily accessible.
Backup your information on Verizon Cloud: Verizon 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.
Download weather applications and alerts that provide users with a variety of information such as radar images, forecasts and severe storm warnings.
Wireless devices can be a key source of information and communication in the event of an emergency, so be sure to keep phones, tablets, laptops, batteries, chargers and other equipment in dry, accessible locations like re-sealable plastic bags, dry bags or waterproof cases.
In case of evacuation, make sure you know where your chargers are, both wall and vehicle charging cords, and have portable batteries fully charged and next to your device.
Record video/take photos of your possessions in your residence before severe weather hits.
How businesses and government organizations can prepare and stay connected
It’s important for businesses and governments to prepare for Tropical Storm Barry as well. We offer customers products and services that can help disaster-proof their communications, helping enable continuity in their operations. For example, our Mobile Connectivity Trailer can create a wireless coverage area if coverage is not available. We also offer wireless routers with automatic fall over if the wired broadband connection is disrupted.
We know that reliable communication before, during and after a storm is critical for our customers to reach their loved ones and the resources they need. We prepare year-round to meet that goal and we are ready to keep you connected during Tropical Storm Barry.