BIRMINGHAM, Ala., May 30, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Alabama is vulnerable to storms and hurricanes that form in the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico, and with hurricanes come possible tornadoes and severe flooding. With the 2014 hurricane season officially underway as of June 1, Alabamians should be preparing an emergency communication plan to keep their families safe and in touch during any severe weather event.
Verizon Wireless, the nation's largest wireless carrier, offers these tips to keep in touch and out of danger during storm season:
- Keep phones, tablets, batteries, chargers and other equipment in a dry, accessible location. Simple zip-lock storage bags will shield devices, and today there are many waterproof phones, cases and other protective accessories.
- Keep phone and tablet 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. Numerous chargers, including solar-powered devices, make it easy to stay powered up.
- 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 wireless devices before an emergency arises.
- Distribute wireless phone numbers to family members and friends.
- Use a free service such as Verizon Cloud, which provides 5MB of data storage, to save your contacts and other important information on a secure server in case your phone or tablet is lost or damaged.
- Use your tablet to conveniently photograph and catalogue your valuables and other household belongings for possible insurance claims.
- Access dozens of free weather-, news- and safety-related services for smartphones and tablets. With 4G LTE technology, users can enjoy high-speed downloads, high-definition pictures and video, and advanced performance in a broad array of these applications.
Once a storm is on the way, Verizon Wireless suggests the following tips for enhanced emergency communications 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 – like the Alabama SAF-T-Net mobile app or apps from aid and relief organizations such as the American Red Cross' apps for first-aid, hurricane and shelter and FEMA's Commercial Mobile Alert System (CMAS) – when power is out.
"Severe weather can occur year round, and it is critical to remain vigilant,"said Jonathan LeCompte, president of Verizon Wireless' Georgia/Alabama Region. " Wireless technology can help Alabamians stay prepared and safe in a storm."
Over the course of 2013, Verizon Wireless invested more than $100 million in network enhancements across Alabama including 70 new cell sites across the state. Its newest technology, known as XLTE, recently launched in Birmingham, Decatur, Florence, Mobile and Montgomery to boost 4G LTE network capacity and enhance high-speed services. The company's ongoing network investment in Alabama now totals more than $1 billion since the company was formed in 2000.
For more information on the Verizon Wireless network, products and services, visit www.verizonwireless.com.
About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless operates the nation's largest and most reliable 4G LTE network. As the largest wireless company in the U.S., Verizon Wireless serves 103.3 million retail customers, including 97.3 million retail postpaid customers. Verizon Wireless is wholly owned by Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, Nasdaq: VZ). For more information, visit www.verizonwireless.com. For the latest news and updates about Verizon Wireless, visit our News Center at http://www.verizonwireless.com/news or follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/VZWNews.
SOURCE Verizon Wireless