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Verizon Wireless Responds to South Napa Earthquake

WALNUT CREEK, Calif., Sept. 3, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Verizon Wireless' investment in network reliability and emergency preparedness has paid off once again.

When the 6.1 magnitude South Napa Earthquake struck Sunday, August 24, at 3:20 a.m. PT, Verizon saw a large and immediate spike in wireless network traffic. Verizon technicians quickly added capacity to local cell sites to handle the traffic increase. Several Verizon cell sites in the area operated on backup batteries and generators during the commercial power outage. Verizon immediately deployed portable generators to power cell sites where permanent generators are not permitted, keeping voice and data service up and running until commercial power was restored Sunday evening, August 24.

Verizon opened local retail stores early in Napa and Vallejo and provided free cell phone charging and wireless Internet access. To support residents displaced by the quake, Verizon's Crisis Response Team set up laptop computers and provided free 4G LTE Internet access at the American Red Cross shelter at Crosswalk Community Church in Napa.

"Our crisis team prepares year-round for natural disasters to ensure customers and first responders have the most reliable network coverage to keep them connected during an emergency, when it matters most," said Russ Preite, president of Verizon Wireless' Northern California/Nevada/Hawaii Region. "Although customers can rely on our network, this earthquake is a good reminder about the importance of also having an emergency communications plan in place."

Below are some tips Verizon Wireless offers for preparing an emergency communications plan:

  • Keep additional batteries charged and nearby; keep car-charger adapters to charge your devices while on the road.
  • Maintain a list of emergency phone numbers – police, fire and rescue agencies; power companies; insurance providers; family, friends and co-workers; etc. – and program them into your phone.
  • Set up all social media and email accounts for you, your family and friends on all wireless phones, tablets and other devices as a method of communication and means to alert contacts of your status and location.

To stay connected and informed in an emergency, Verizon Wireless recommends:

  • Limit non-emergency calls to conserve battery power and free-up wireless networks for emergency agencies and operations.
  • Send text messages instead of calls – often text messages get through when wireless networks are overtaxed during a crisis.
  • Download apps and subscribe to alerts from aid and relief organizations such as the American Red Cross' apps for first-aid

Additional tips can be found here.

To assist with relief efforts, the Verizon Foundation has awarded a $10,000 grant to the Napa County chapter of the American Red Cross.

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 104.6 million retail customers, including 98.6 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

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