CHARLESTON, S.C., July 2, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- As Tropical Storm Arthur threatens to bring damaging winds and rain to the South Carolina coast, Verizon Wireless has alerted its emergency response team and is in the process of preparing to keep coastal residents connected if disaster hits.
These preparations include maintaining COW (Cell on Wheels) and COLT (Cell on Light Truck) units that can be deployed to hard hit locations to boost network capacity, ensuring customers have strong voice calls, text messaging and 3G and 4G LTE data coverage during peak times of usage.
"Emergency response planning is a cornerstone of our approach to providing a highly reliable wireless network," said Jerry Fountain, Verizon Wireless Carolinas/ Tennessee region president. "We have a mantra, 'we run to a crisis,' and when it matters most we pull together to ensure our customers, friends, family, neighbors and emergency agencies can communicate with each other."
In addition to the deployment of mobile cell sites like COWs and COLTs, Verizon's year-round preparations include constructing new cell sites with on-site back-up generators and pre-arranged fuel delivery, providing mobile stores and charging stations, and partnering with local response agencies to prepare emergency equipment.Verizon recommends coastal residents prepare ahead so their wireless technology and devices can aid them well if power is lost:
- Send brief text messages and limit voice calls to emergency situations to conserve battery power and free up wireless networks for emergency agencies and operations.
- Before the storm hits, charge all wireless phones, tablets, hotspots, netbooks and laptops. Pick up some additional batteries, car-charger adapters and/or solar chargers for back-up power.
- Track weather conditions and access important information in real-time by downloading mobile apps from local media outlets, the Red Cross and FEMA.
- Save an emergency list of phone numbers on paper and on all wireless devices for police, fire and rescue agencies; power companies; insurance providers; family, friends and co-workers; etc.