Tips to keep your family, home and business safe
IRVINE, CA, June 8, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – The 2022 wildfire season started early with record fires engulfing swathes of the American Southwest at the beginning of April. For people who reside in the West, living with the risk of wildfires for most of the year has become part of the new normal. At Verizon, preparing for wildfires, natural disasters, severe weather, and other emergencies is something we do year-round to keep communities and first responders connected when it matters most.
Wildfire season is in full swing with the hottest and driest month on the horizon, and the Verizon response team is ready. Experts anticipate another active fire season, so teams of Verizon engineers have been preparing by conducting emergency drills, testing fiber and cell site readiness, and making sure that recovery equipment is in place. Verizon Frontline and the Verizon Frontline response team also stand ready to provide first responders who will be on the front lines of potential disaster response efforts the critical communications capabilities they need.
Verizon is ready to keep people connected
a favour for reliability, Verizon Extreme Network Designed to withstand wildfires, natural disasters, and extreme weather, it delivers superior service by including redundancy in critical paths and components to avoid potential network component failures that greatly impact customers. The use of battery and generator backup systems in critical locations such as large cell sites, switch sites, and network operations centers also reduces the risk of outage in the event of commercial power loss. All of Verizon’s macro cell locations have battery power backup and 78% have generator backup. Verizon engineers prepare for the upcoming season by ensuring high fuel levels on all generators at cellular locations, testing battery backups at network facilities, placing additional equipment in case additional capacity is needed, and preparing emergency crews to respond quickly to any network problem.
Should an emergency network recovery be necessary, Verizon is ready to respond quickly. Verizon maintains a fleet of more than 500 mobile assets, including fully functional and powered cell sites that can replace or enhance network coverage and capacity in a specific area as well as drones and fixed-wing aircraft that can provide service from the sky. In addition, Verizon boasts 150 industry-leading satellite-based mobile network assets that can be used should a fiber connection be lost due to commercial power loss or physical damage. These assets include geostationary and geosynchronous assets. All of these mobile assets are complemented by nearly a thousand portable generators and a comprehensive refueling program.
Verizon Frontline is ready to support first responders
The Verizon Frontline response team stands ready to deploy to support public safety agencies nationwide to ensure they have the mission-critical communications capabilities they need when responding to wildfires and extreme weather events. In 2021, the team responded to 128 named wildfires, and provided more than 2,000 Verizon Frontline solutions to first responders in nearly 200 communities in 16 states.
Comprised of many former first responders and military veterans, the Verizon Front Line Response Team provides on-demand emergency assistance during crises to public safety agencies and emergency responders. The team is available 24/7 to deliver Verizon Frontline technologies, including portable cellular locations, drones, charging stations, WiFi hotspots, and other Verizon Frontline devices and solutions that enable communications and/or enhance network performance.
Verizon Frontline is the network and advanced technology created for first responders—developed over nearly three decades of partnership with frontline public safety officials and agencies—to meet their unique and evolving needs.
Are you ready for a wildfire?
The Verizon retail team stands ready to assist customers and ensure they have the appropriate hardware, accessories, and connectivity they will need to prepare for extended blackouts, mandatory evacuation orders and other extreme circumstances. Convenient options like locker, curbside, and store pickup provide quick ways to get in and out of what you need.
In addition to the right technology, you’ll also need to take steps to ensure your family is prepared for the season as well. When the risk of wildfires is high:
Keep devices protected: While many phones today are waterproof to some degree, you still want to take extra care to ensure phones, tablets, batteries, chargers, and other equipment stay dry and accessible. Plastic zipper storage bags help protect devices, and weatherproof phones, phone cases, and other protective accessories are also available.
Keep devices fully charged: Make sure your device is ready when you need it by keeping your phone and tablet batteries fully charged in the event of a commercial power outage.
Get some backup: When the power is out for an extended period of time, portable battery packs can change the rules of the game to ensure you stay connected. Don’t forget your car chargers too in case you need to evacuate.
Create a list: Keep a list of emergency numbers on your phone so you have it if needed.
Be prepared to lose: Take pictures of valuables and other important belongings for potential insurance claims. And be sure to upload it to the cloud so you have a backup.
Check checklists: see the Forest fire safety Recommendations and other resources from the American Red Cross.
Download useful apps: There are tons of free wildfire notifications, weather, news and safety related apps available to download on your smartphone.
Business continuity is critical
The need for a secure and stable connection for business continuity has never been more evident than during the season of wildfires, extreme weather events, and other emergencies. This is especially important with today’s increasingly common mixed business environments, where highly distributed and mobile workforces rely on remote collaboration and digital networking tools to do business across large and local areas simultaneously.
Verizon’s suite of business solutions provide continuity of service to customers, from SD-WAN, to advanced security tools, to cloud and edge applications and BlueJeans powered by Verizon’s video collaboration platform, fixed wireless Internet for primary or backup connectivity. Verizon’s Network-as-a-Service strategy gives customers the flexibility to scale services as they need to so they are ready for anything.
As companies launch their hybrid operations in the office and at home, now is the time to assess preparedness plans before storm season. Suggested steps for companies and government institutions include:
Ensure your contact information is up to date and readily available to all employees, including in-home information for remote workers and branch information for satellite offices.
Stress test for primary and backup networks and support any weak areas
Make copies of insurance policies, review insurance coverages and update them as appropriate.
Ensure that employees working from home document all company equipment used to work from home in the event of damage or loss.
Make sure you have backup plans in place for relocation of work in the event that employees working from home in a fire-affected area have to evacuate or their homes lose commercial power for an extended period.
Verizon supports its employees in critical times
VtoV Employee Relief Fund is a charity that provides assistance to Verizon employees who have been displaced from their homes by natural disasters—such as fires, floods, hurricanes, and severe weather—or domestic violence. Since its inception in 2013, VtoV has provided more than $4.7 million in grants to more than 4,400 Verizon employees worldwide. Grants are used for food, clothing, shelter, and other necessities during life-changing disasters. In addition to the generosity our employees show in supporting fellow V Teamers, the Verizon Foundation offers a generous Matching Gift Program where 100% of every donation goes directly to helping V Teamer in need, because Verizon pays all administrative fees.
**Editor’s note: We have b-rolls, images, and additional information about our emergency response equipment available in our Media Resource Center – https://www.verizon.com/about/news/media-resources