Network operations include preparing for potential commercial power outages and flooding.
The Verizon Response Team (VRT) is on standby 24/7 to provide Verizon Frontline technologies to assist first responders.
NEW YORK, Aug. 27, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – As Hurricane Ida heads to the Gulf, Verizon teams in storm-tired markets prepare to deliver critical communications before, during and after the storm again . The likelihood of potential flooding is high and commercial outages are expected. Verizon engineers fill generators and pre-commissioning trucks with fuel, prepare mobile network assets for rapid deployment, prepare satellite and microwave equipment as redundancy connections if fiber is affected, and activate response teams to keep customers and first responders connected. Despite many mobile assets deployed in support of efforts to deal with wildfires in the west, flooding in Tennessee, assisting with the treatment of Afghan refugees, and continued support for the pandemic response, Verizon prepared many emergency assets outside of the storm’s predicted path.
“We are actively preparing for Ida and our Verizon team is ready to support the community as another major storm hits this region,” said Kyle Malady, CTO at Verizon. “We know our customers rely on us, especially during tough times, and we’ll be there with them every step of the way to provide reliable connections to critical resources, colleagues, friends and family. “
Verizon is ready
Verizon prepared to ensure the network is prepared for Tropical Storm Idai:
- Support for first responders: More public safety professionals rely on Verizon than any other network. Verizon Frontline is the cutting-edge network and technology designed for first responders – developed over nearly three decades of partnering with public safety officials and agencies – to meet their unique needs. When seconds count, Verizon Frontline provides network priority and preemption and a commitment to true interoperability, giving first responders access to the network when they need it. The Verizon Response Team is also available 24/7 to provide Verizon Frontline technologies, including on-demand emergency assistance for first responders. We mobilize Verizon Frontline drones, charging stations, WiFi hotspots, devices, special equipment, emergency vehicles and more to help enable critical communications for local, state and federal agencies to across the country. First responder customers with priority wireless service should dial * 272 or download the Priority Telecommunications Services application when making calls.
- COVID-19 Considerations: With the pandemic underway, we have been striving to have the personal equipment and processes necessary for our teams in the field who may have to enter heavily populated areas such as shelters or operations centers. We have virtualized many command center functions to make it easier for our engineers working on network repairs and mobile asset deployment to remain socially distanced. We have also arranged individual portable housing units for critical network engineers in the field.
- Redundancy equals reliability / backups over backups: We use different strategies – including backup generators and HVAC systems and redundant fiber rings for cell sites and switching centers – to keep the network up and customers connected in the event of a commercial power outage or water damage.
- Refueling strategy: We pre-arrange fuel deliveries for our generators in the event of a storm, with tankers ready and able to quickly respond to hard-hit areas in the event of a commercial blackout.
- Preparation all year round: We run Emergency Operations Center exercises throughout the year to ensure our team is ready and equipped to respond to emergencies.
- Support for the community: Our mobile wireless emergency communications centers, tactical command trailers and response trailers are ready to deploy to assist first responders and community members in their recovery efforts.
- Ready drones: We have surveillance drones on standby to help assess and respond to storm damage.
- Satellite assets: We have a fleet of new portable cellular sites equipped with satellites and dedicated satellite links for connection. If sustained winds, storm surges, or manual fiber cuts damage the fiber or microwaves during recovery from the storm, the network can continue to operate without commercial power, using satellite-enabled portable equipment, dedicated satellite links and to our fleet of portable generators.
- Complete fleet management: In the days leading up to and during a storm, it’s critical that mobile businesses know where to allocate people, assets and vehicles. The Verizon Connect fleet management platform offers greater visibility and situational awareness to help put people and assets out of harm’s way and plan for a more coordinated return to business after the storm has passed.
How can you prepare: Do you have a personal communication plan?
Especially in the context of natural disasters, having reliable connectivity and a personal communication plan is essential. We encourage you to take these steps to ensure that you and your loved ones can communicate during a storm.
Preparation of the device:
- Make sure all battery powered devices are fully charged before the storm hits. These include cordless home phones, smartphones, laptops, tablets, flashlights and radios.
- Wireless devices can provide critical information and communications in an emergency. Store phones, tablets, laptops, batteries, chargers, and other equipment in dry, accessible places such as resealable plastic bags, dry bags, or waterproof cases.
- In the event of an evacuation, make sure you can find your chargers (including wall and vehicle charging cords) and have fully charged portable device chargers and next to your device.
Know and save your information:
- Maintain a list of emergency telephone numbers and email addresses, including police, fire and rescue services; electricity companies; insurance providers; and family, friends and co-workers. Program them into your phone, smartphone, tablet or laptop and also have a hard copy handy, in an easily accessible place.
- Back up your information to Verizon Cloud. Verizon provides backup assistance through Verizon Cloud to store your phone’s address book and contact information as well as pictures and other content on a secure server. Record a video and take photos of your belongings before the inclement weather.
- Download weather apps and alerts that provide storm-related radar imagery, severe storm forecasts and warnings.
- Program your smartphone to receive emergency alerts. Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) are free wireless notifications sent to mobile devices by local / national public safety organizations.
- To prepare for a possible evacuation, reserve your emergency resources on your phone so you can look up any restrictions, limitations, or special instructions if you need emergency shelter, medical attention, or other support that may be required. affected by COVID-19.
How businesses and government organizations can prepare and stay connected
Businesses and governments know the importance of hurricane preparedness. This year, with much of the workforce working remotely, contingency planning is even more critical. We provide our customers with products and services that can help protect communications from disasters and enable business continuity.
It’s also a good time to review preparedness plans. Suggested steps for business and government organizations include:
- Make sure your contact details are up to date and easily accessible to all employees.
- Make copies of insurance documents, review insurance coverages and update as necessary.
- Make sure employees working from home have documented all company equipment used to work from home in the event of damage or loss.
- Make sure you have a backup plan for shift work in case employees working from home in a storm affected area have to evacuate their home or their home loses commercial power.
This storm season should be active, and Verizon is prepared and proven for a crisis.
Editor’s Note: To access images and scroll b of past storms, Verizon gear, recovery efforts and more, please visit the Verizon Emergency Resource Center at https://www.verizon.com/about/news/emergency-resource-center
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, Nasdaq: VZ) was incorporated on June 30, 2000 and is a leading global provider of technology, communications, information and entertainment products and services. Based in New York City and with a worldwide presence, Verizon generated sales of $ 128.3 billion in 2020. The company provides data, video and voice services and solutions over its networks and platforms. – Award-winning forms, meeting customer demand for mobility, reliable network connectivity, security and control.
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