Georgia's Severe Weather Awareness Week Spotlights Need For Communication Plans

Mon Feb 4, 2013 9:54am EST

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Verizon Wireless Issues Tips to Stay Connected to Family and Friends During
Weather Events

ALPHARETTA, Ga.,  Feb. 4, 2013  /PRNewswire/ -- Governor Deal has declared 
February 4  - 8, 2013 as Severe Weather Awareness Week in  Georgia. Last week's
severe storms reminded Georgians what can happen when weather strikes. Georgians
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 when
severe weather threatens:

* 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.  
* Distribute wireless phone numbers to family members and friends.  
* Download from a wide variety of weather- and safety-related applications for
smartphones, tablets and other devices. Many of these apps are free.  
* Use a service such as Backup Assistant, the free Verizon Wireless application
that stores a phone's address book on a secure server in case the phone is lost
or damaged.

Verizon Wireless also suggests the following actions once a storm is on the

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

"Every year we see severe weather issues in  Georgia  from hurricanes, violent
thunderstorms, wildfires and tornadoes," says  Jonathan LeCompte, president of
Verizon Wireless'  Georgia/Alabama Region.   "We know that preparation, and the
earlier the better, is important in staying safe and keeping the lines of
communication open."

Verizon Wireless, which operates the nation's fastest 4G network and largest and
most reliable 3G network, has made numerous network enhancements over the past
year, including the expansion of its most advanced 4G LTE (Long-Term Evolution)
network. The company's ongoing network investment in  Georgia  now totals over 
$2 billion  since the company was formed in 2000.  

As a result, in the aftermath of even the most devastating weather the Verizon
Wireless network in  Georgia  has remained strong while many other wireless
communication networks struggled to serve emergency response officials and
residents.  Verizon Wireless' storm preparation includes:

* Wireless Emergency Communication Centers (WECCs) to serve residents and rescue
agencies in the area(s) in the greatest need.  The company deployed a WECC in 
Gordon County  last week in the wake of the tornado.
* A fleet of Cells on Wheels (COWS) and Cells on Light Trucks (COLTS), and
generators on trailers (GOaTS) that can be rolled into hard-hit locations.  
* Installation of advanced in-building systems to boost wireless coverage and
services at hospitals, government and emergency facilities, high-traffic public
venues and other locations throughout  Georgia.
* A Communications Store on wheels ready to roll.   The 35-foot trailer allows
Verizon Wireless to maintain retail operations in areas when company stores are
not able to open.

For more information on the Verizon Wireless network, products and services,

About Verizon Wireless  
Verizon Wireless operates the nation's largest 4G LTE network and largest, most
reliable 3G network. The company serves 98.2 million retail customers, including
92.5 million retail postpaid customers.  Headquartered in  Basking Ridge, N.J.,
with more than 73,000 employees nationwide, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture
of Verizon Communications (NYSE, NASDAQ: VZ) and Vodafone (LSE, NASDAQ: VOD). 
For more information, visit 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

SOURCE  Verizon Wireless

Kate Jay, Verizon Wireless, +1-678-339-4828,,

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