BASKING RIDGE, NJ — With forecasters warning of severe tropical weather this year, Verizon is advising customers in hurricane-prone areas to prepare an emergency wireless and home telecommunications plan for the 2007 hurricane season, which begins tomorrow.
Verizon Wireless, which has continued the intensive preparations to maintain strong network coverage before, during and after hurricane season, offers residents these tips to safely use their wireless phones during hurricanes and other times of crisis:
- Keep wireless phone batteries fully charged in case local power is lost well before warnings are issued.
- 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 and in a sealed water-resistant plastic bag or pouch.
- 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.
The company also urges the following actions once a storm is on the way:
- Limit non-emergency calls to conserve battery power and free-up wireless networks for emergency agencies and operations.
- Send brief text messages rather than voice calls for the same reasons as above.
- Check weather and news reports available through many Internet-connected wireless phones, and through other wireless phone applications, when power is out. Customers in V CAST Mobile TV coverage areas can watch news updates 24 hours a day from their wireless phones to stay informed on the latest hurricane forecasts and information.
- If away from home or planning an evacuation route, use location-based services, such as Verizon Wireless' VZ NavigatorSM for turn-by-turn, voice prompted directions. Parents can also use Verizon Wireless' ChaperoneSM service to help identify the whereabouts of their young children's phones.
Verizon Communications urges landline consumers to cross-check their home telecommunications services to prepare for the hurricane season and offers the following checklist:
- Purchase an inexpensive phone with a cord that plugs directly into a wall jack. Cordless phones won't work when the lights are out even though the back-up power in Verizon's network will keep the local phone service going unless the actual line to the home has been damaged. Also, Internet calling services won't work because the hardware requires power. Having a traditional corded phone available or always hooked up to an extension helps consumers stay in touch.
- Program and forward calls from your home line to an alternative number if you will be away from your home or have to evacuate.
- Use your home voice mail to communicate with family members in case of disaster by leaving and retrieving messages to and from each other.
(Editors: Information about Verizon Wireless' preparations for the 2007 hurricane season, including network information, consumer tips and Verizon Wireless spokesperson information can be found online in the Verizon Wireless Emergency Information Center at http://www.verizonwireless.com/news.
Video footage with helpful tips for consumers to prepare for hurricanes and other severe weather is available in the Verizon Wireless Multimedia Library at www.verizonwireless.com/multimedia.)
About Verizon Wireless Verizon Wireless operates the nation's most reliable wireless voice and data network, serving more than 60.7 million customers. The largest US wireless company and largest wireless data provider, based on revenues, Verizon Wireless is headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., with 66,000 employees nationwide. The company is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD). Find more information on the Web at www.verizonwireless.com. 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 www.verizonwireless.com/multimedia.
About Verizon Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), headquartered in New York, is a leader in delivering broadband and other wireline and wireless communication innovations to mass market, business, government and wholesale customers. Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving 60.7 million customers nationwide. Verizon's Wireline operations include Verizon Business, which delivers innovative and seamless business solutions to customers around the world, and Verizon Telecom, which brings customers the benefits of converged communications, information and entertainment services over the nation's most advanced fiber-optic network. A Dow 30 company, Verizon has a diverse workforce of more than 238,000 and last year generated consolidated operating revenues of more than $88 billion. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.####