Hurricane Dennis Approaching Florida; Residents Urged To Make Emergency Communications Plans

BOCA RATON, FL — With Hurricane Dennis strengthening and moving in the direction of Florida and the Keys, state residents and visitors are urged to include emergency communication plans in their overall hurricane preparations.

Verizon Wireless offers these tips to be safer during storms and other times of crisis:

  • Keep wireless phone batteries charged — in case local power is lost — well before a storm might hit.

  • Have additional charged batteries and car-charger adapters available for back-up power.

  • Keep phones, batteries, chargers and other equipment in a dry, accessible location.

  • Maintain a list of emergency phone numbers — police, fire and rescue agencies; power companies; insurance providers; family, friends and co-workers; etc. — and program them into your phone.

  • Distribute wireless phone numbers to family members and friends.

  • Forward your home phone calls to your wireless number if you will be away from your home or have to evacuate.

"Unfortunately, we saw numerous times last year just how important wireless communication can be during and after a severe storm," said Florida region president Mike Lanman. "Proper planning and preparation is key to staying safe."

Additional tips if a storm hits, include:

  • Limit non-emergency calls to conserve battery power and free-up wireless networks for emergency agencies and operations.

  • Send brief TXT Messages rather than voice calls for the same reasons as above.

  • Check weather and news reports available on many internet-connected and other wireless phone applications when power is out.

"Staying in touch is critical in times of crisis, and we take our public safety role very seriously," said Lanman. "We're very proud to work with residents, and local and state officials to help keep lines of communication open."

About the Verizon Wireless hurricane preparation/response in 2004In the 2004 hurricane season in Florida, Verizon Wireless provided thousands of phones and millions of minutes in airtime to state and local agencies and the public as landline services and other wireless carriers lost coverage during and after the storms; Verizon Wireless technicians logged approximately 300,000 hours in preparation and hurricane response efforts; During and after each storm, the company's wireless network in Florida remained nearly 90 percent operational, and was back to 100 percent within a few days; nearly 80 percent of the company's transmission sites in Florida have their own generators to keep the network operating during power outages; Verizon Wireless has invested more than $1 billion in the Florida wireless network in the past five years, including $220 million in 2004.

About Verizon WirelessVerizon Wireless owns and operates the nation's most reliable wireless network, serving 45.5 million voice and data customers. Headquartered in Bedminster, NJ, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD). Find more information on the Web at To preview and request broadcast-quality video footage and high-resolution stills of Verizon Wireless operations, log on to the Verizon Wireless Multimedia Library at