Verizon’s network connects customers during Texas floods

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Karen Schulz

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As flood waters rose and swept away bridges, streets, cars and homes during recent floods in Austin, Texas, Verizon’s network stood strong to connect our customers with the resources they needed and the people they loved.

Kerry Packer and his family will not soon forget when what was meant to be a brief ride turned into the adventure of a lifetime. Kerry, an Austin, Texas resident, was in his car when flash floods carried his SUV away with him inside. Knowing how critical it was to reach help and wanting to record this once-in-a-lifetime event, Kerry grabbed his Verizon phone.

Verizon delivered. 

While floating through a wooded area in a major flash flood, Kerry was able to contact emergency workers who gave him survival advice and dispatched help immediately. Knowing that his car would not remain above water long, Kerry climbed through his window and up a 20’ tree while rapids rushed all around him. As he saw his car floating away, he called his wife to let her know he was alive and share amazing video footage with her.

As minutes passed, Kerry made full use of his wireless connection by interviewing live with local news from the tree, posting video to his social media accounts, Facetiming his family, and staying in contact with emergency personnel. As a rescue helicopter deployed a first responder to rescue him, Kerry was able to talk through the details of the rescue with dispatch who communicated directly with the chopper overhead.

“I’ve told dozens of my friends that Verizon is always going to have a signal. It’s always going to be reliable. And what’s the point of even owning a cell phone if half the time you don’t have a reliable signal. And in this case I’m in the middle of a torrential rainstorm, in the middle of the woods, in south Austin far from the city center, and I’m still face timing my wife,” said Kerry. “I’m definitely grateful for the part that Verizon played in getting me home safe to my family. Better absolutely matters.”

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