As Winter Storm Saturn Threatens East, Verizon Finalizes Storm Preparations, Offers Preparedness Tips For Consumers and Businesses
NEW YORK - Verizon’s networks are ready to serve customers as winter storm Saturn approaches the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast.
Verizon prepares year-round for natural disasters and other emergencies to provide customers with reliable service so they can keep their businesses open; stay in touch with family and friends; and check the latest weather conditions on their TVs, PCs, tablets or smartphones.
(NOTE: Verizon has produced a short video on customer-readiness tips; to view it, click here.)
Employees are on standby to respond to any crisis in the event network equipment is endangered or when emergency first-responder or customer support is required. Verizon also can deploy employees from unaffected parts of the country to help restore services in hard-hit areas.
The Verizon communications networks require power to operate. If commercial power fails, backup batteries and generators in the company’s switching centers and other facilities keep power flowing so the company’s networks can continue to deliver services to customers. Portable generators also are available for deployment to storm-stricken facilities, when needed.
Verizon crisis management and operations teams continue to closely monitor the storm’s path and complete required preparations, such as confirming staff schedules; testing and confirming fuel supplies for backup generators; moving vehicles; and stocking critical supplies in centralized locations for rapid deployment to hard-hit areas.
In addition, Verizon’s disaster recovery fleet of emergency vehicles stands ready for deployment to the affected region, if needed. The fleet includes a 51-foot mobile command center, two 53-foot mobile emergency calling centers, and satellite trailers.
Verizon also has the industry’s first environmental hazmat response team, the Major Emergency Response Incident Team (MERIT), which will remain on standby to deploy immediately, if needed. This team is specially trained for rapid deployment to manage hazardous materials in emergencies involving or threatening Verizon’s critical communications facilities or infrastructure, or other company assets.
Customer Contact Information and Preparedness Tips
Residential and small business customers can call 1-800-VERIZON (1-800-837-4966) to report any service-related issue. Residential customers also can contact Verizon online at www.verizon.com/outage; small business customers can visit www.verizon.com/bizoutage. Medium and enterprise business customers should contact their regular customer service centers or account teams, as needed.
In preparing for a storm, it’s wise to have an emergency kit on hand. Items to include:
- A battery-powered radio.
- Flashlights and extra fresh batteries.
- A first-aid kit.
- Bottled water and an adequate supply of non-perishable food.
- A non-electric can opener.
- Matches and candles with holders.
- Extra blankets and sleeping bags.
- A list of emergency phone numbers, including the customer service number for your electric and utility company.
Additional Tips for Small-Business Customers
Many of the tips for consumers apply to preparedness for small businesses, but there are additional steps business owners or managers will want to take:
- Back up your archives and documents, including critical business data, stored on your computers. Verizon’s Online Backup & Sharing will allow any small-business owner to back up these important files to secure remote servers that only the user can access from anywhere with an Internet connection, including via a smartphone.
- Update the “Contact Us” page on your website to include an email address. This is an additional method of communication for your customers to keep in touch with you.
- Add sign-up forms to your website and other social media platforms to capture contact information for your customers. This will allow you to communicate with them in case you have to temporarily close your business.
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, Nasdaq: VZ), headquartered in New York, is a global leader in delivering broadband and other wireless and wireline communications services to consumer, business, government and wholesale customers. Verizon Wireless operates America’s most reliable wireless network, with more than 98 million retail connections nationwide. Verizon also provides converged communications, information and entertainment services over America’s most advanced fiber-optic network, and delivers integrated business solutions to customers in more than 150 countries, including all of the Fortune 500. A Dow 30 company with nearly $116 billion in 2012 revenues, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of 183,400. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.