Florida Residents Should Make Emergency Communication Plans As 2010 Hurricane Season Approaches

TAMPA, FL — With the 2010 Hurricane Season set to begin June 1, Floridians are urged to be ready for hurricanes and storms by preparing an emergency communication plan. Verizon Wireless, which operates the nation’s most reliable and largest voice and 3G data network, offers residents these tips to be safe and in touch this storm season:

  • 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.
  • 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 evacuate.

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 on wireless phone applications when power is out.

“Preparation is vital for staying safe in emergencies, and Florida residents have enough time now to make proper plans before the storm season hits,” said Pam Tope, Florida region president for Verizon Wireless. “Likewise, our teams work and prepare all year to make sure the network stays up a strong for customers.”

Verizon Wireless has continued the intensive investments and preparations that proved critical during and after past years’ extraordinary storm seasons. These include building “Super Switch” call processing hubs across the state designed to withstand Category 5 hurricanes; deploying teams of “Test Men” to ensure network coverage is strong; maintaining a fleet of dozens of Cells on Wheels (COWs), Cells on Light Trucks (COLTs), and generators on trailers (GOaTs); adding cell sites, more than 80 percent of which have their own back-up power; and many more initiatives.

These efforts are part of a network investment exceeding $240 million in Florida during the past year, and $2 billion in the state since the company was formed. Nationally, Verizon Wireless has spent about $59 billion to enhance its digital wireless network since 2000.

This year, Verizon Wireless plans to launch its 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) wireless services in 25 to 30 markets nationally. LTE will offer customers significantly greater network capacity than even today’s most advanced 3G coverage.

For more information on the Verizon Wireless network, products and services, visit www.verizonwireless.com.

About Verizon WirelessVerizon Wireless operates the nation’s most reliable and largest wireless voice and 3G data network, serving nearly 93 million customers. Headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., with 81,000 employees nationwide, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE, NASDAQ: VZ) and Vodafone (LSE, NASDAQ: VOD). For more information, visit 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.