2012 Hurricane Season Approaches; Florida Residents Urged To Prepare

TAMPA, FL — Hurricane Season 2012 is set to begin on June 1, and Verizon Wireless encourages Floridians to be ready with an emergency communication plan.

Verizon, the nation’s largest wireless carrier, offers these basic tips for families to stay safe and in touch during storm season:

  • Keep phones, batteries, chargers and other equipment in a dry, accessible location.  Consider waterproof accessories or simple zip-lock storage bags to protect devices.
  • 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.
  • Maintain a list of emergency numbers – police and fire agencies; power and insurance companies; family, friends and co-workers; etc. – and program them into your phone before an emergency arises.
  • Distribute wireless phone numbers to family members and friends.
  • Use a service such as Backup Assistant, Verizon’s free application that stores a phone’s address book on a secure server in case the phone is lost or damaged.

Floridians also can take advantage of a wide variety of free weather-, news- and safety-related services for smartphones, tablets and other devices. With 4G LTE technology, wireless users can enjoy high-speed downloads, high-definition pictures and video, and advanced performance in a broad array of these applications.  A few examples of free weather apps for iPhone and Android include The Weather Channel, Weather Bug, Weather HD, AccuWeather, GO Weather, plus many more.

“There are many easy steps Floridians can take to keep their families secure during storm season,” said Pam Tope, Florida region president for Verizon Wireless. “And we’ve already seen tropical storm systems form in the ocean this year, which should remind us that it is never too early to prepare.”

Once a storm is on the way, Verizon Wireless suggests the following tips for enhanced emergency communication and safety:

  • 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.
  • Forward your home phone calls to your wireless number if you evacuate.
  • Check weather and news reports on wireless phone applications when power is out.

To ensure Florida customers have access to the most reliable wireless services in the event of severe weather and other emergencies, Verizon Wireless has enhanced its industry-leading network with numerous initiatives.  These include installing new in-building network systems at hospitals, government and emergency facilities, airports, high-traffic venues and other key public safety locations. The company also has five “super-switch” network processing centers across the state (Jacksonville, Orlando, Tampa Bay, Jupiter and Pembroke Pines), which are designed to withstand Category 5 hurricanes and would serve as Emergency Operation Centers (EOC) in case of a crisis.

Another major enhancement for customers is the rapid expansion of the company’s most advanced 4G LTE network across Florida.  First launched in the state in December 2010, Verizon Wireless 4G LTE already covers more than 75 percent of the state’s population.

For more information, visit www.verizonwireless.com.

About Verizon WirelessVerizon Wireless operates the nation’s largest 4G LTE network and largest, most reliable 3G network. The company serves 93.0 million retail customers, including 88.0 million retail postpaid customers.  Headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., with 80,000 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.

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