Verizon response: Severe weather in the South
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What you need to know:
Verizon has engineered its network to withstand severe weather season
Battery backup and generators are standing by to power cell sites in the event of commercial power outages
Residents in the affected area should prepare now for any personal impacts
ATLANTA, GA - The season’s first major severe weather outbreak is expected this week and with it comes a good reminder of what you can do to prepare. Verizon engineers and technicians are preparing the network for extreme weather and Verizon Response teams are constantly updating their plans for serving customers in the event of severe weather.
Verizon is ready:
Verizon engineers and technicians have prepared the network for this year’s severe weather season:
Support for first responders: More public safety professionals rely on Verizon Frontline than any other network. During times of crisis, Verizon Frontline provides network priority and preemption for first responders at no cost to public safety agencies. This gives first responders access to the network when they need it. Additionally, when disaster strikes, the Verizon Response Team (VRT) is available 24/7 365 days a year to coordinate with first responders to provide essential technologies during a crisis. During storms, the VRT will mobilize charging stations, devices, special equipment, emergency vehicles and more to support local, state and federal agencies across the US.
COVID-19 considerations: This year, like last year, we have worked to ensure we have the necessary personal equipment and processes in place for our field teams who may have to enter highly populated areas like shelters or operations centers. We have virtualized many operational functions to make it easier for our engineers working on network resiliency efforts to remain socially distanced. We have also arranged for individual portable housing units for mission critical network engineers in the field.
Redundancy Equals Reliability/Backups to the Backups: We use different strategies including backup generators and HVAC systems and redundant fiber rings for cell sites and switching centers to keep the network running and customers connected when commercial power is lost or water and property damage occurs.
Refueling strategy: We pre-arrange fuel deliveries for our generators in case of a storm, with tankers poised and in position to quickly respond to hard-hit areas in the event commercial power is lost
Year-round preparation: We run Emergency Operation Center drills throughout the year to ensure our team is ready and equipped to respond to emergencies
Support for the community: We have mobile Wireless Emergency Communications Centers, Tactical Command Trailers, and Response Trailers ready to deploy to support first responders and community members with recovery efforts
Use of drones: We have surveillance drones on standby to help assess and respond to damage from a storm, and we have drones that can deliver wireless service to a designated area from the sky
Satellite assets: We have a fleet of satellite-equipped portable cell sites and have secured dedicated satellite links for connection. If fiber or microwave is damaged due to sustained winds, storm surge or manual fiber cuts during post-storm recovery work, satellite-enabled portable equipment and dedicated satellite links, along with the fleet of portable generators keep the network running without commercial power.
Comprehensive fleet management: In the run up to and during a storm, it’s critical for mobile businesses to know where their people, assets and vehicles are. The Verizon Connect fleet management platform provides greater visibility and situational awareness to help move people and assets out of harm’s way and plan a more coordinated return to business once the storm clears. Verizon’s operations teams closely monitor severe impacts during local, regional and national emergencies and will deploy our engineers to the hardest hit areas as needed.
Personal planning is key to ensuring you stay connected at home
Like our network engineers, families should plan in advance for what they will do if they’re impacted by severe weather. Here are some good tips to follow to ensure you have what you need should disaster strike:
Keep devices dry.
Store phones, tablets, batteries, chargers and other equipment in a dry, accessible location. Plastic zipper storage bags will shield devices, and there are weatherproof phones, phone cases and other protective accessories available.
Keep devices fully charged.
Plan ahead by keeping phone and tablet batteries fully charged in case local power is lost.
Get some backup.
Keep spare batteries charged up to provide backup power. And have car chargers on hand in case you need to evacuate.
Create a list.
Maintain a list of emergency numbers–police and fire departments; power and insurance companies; family, friends and co-workers; etc. – and program them into your wireless devices before an emergency arises.
Be prepared for loss.
Use your tablet to photograph and catalogue your valuables and other household belongings for possible insurance claims.
Download useful apps.
Hundreds of free weather-, news- and safety-related apps and services are available through your device’s app store. These include several apps from the American Red Cross for iOS and Android, mobile weather reports from the National Weather Service, and many, many more.
Keep hand sanitizer and masks available should you need to leave your home, and review the CDC guidelines on how to protect yourself and others during the pandemic.
In the event of an evacuation, bookmark your local emergency resources on your phone so you can research any special restrictions, limitations or instructions if you need emergency shelter, medical care or other support that may be impacted by COVID-19.
Our Verizon Response Team (VRT) stands ready 24/7/365 to serve our consumer and business customers. You can reach Verizon several ways if your services are affected by the storm.
Please note that Verizon retail stores may be closed or have reduced hours due to the storm. You can always find the most up to date hours and locations at: https://www.verizon.com/stores. In addition, we remain ready to serve you for anything you need on Verizon.com and on the My Verizon app. Our knowledgeable sales team is also available to assist via phone at 1-800-256-4646.
Small business customers can sign in to their My Business account or visit www.verizon.com/support/smallbusiness. 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 the Fios Mobile app can be used to watch TV programs including newscasts.