Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Have Emergency Communications Plans Ready as Hanna Stalks Georgia

PRNewswire/ -- With Tropical Storm Hanna threatening the Georgia coast, Verizon Wireless urges residents to have their emergency communications plans in place. The company offers the following tips:

-- 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.

-- Keep phones, batteries, chargers and other equipment in a dry, accessible location.

-- 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.

-- Distribute wireless phone numbers to family members and friends.

-- Forward your home phone calls to your wireless number if you will be away from your home or have to evacuate.

-- 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 reasons as above.

-- Check weather and news reports available on wireless phone applications when commercial power is out.

Tropical Storm Hanna is expected to reach landfall by Friday of this week. The storm already has begun to churn the ocean waters off the Southeast coast. Over the Labor Day weekend, numerous rescues by lifeguards were carried out along the beaches of South Carolina, Georgia, and North Carolina all due to the dangerous rip currents.

"It's clear that Hanna will have some impact on our region, but preparation and communication will help lessen any problems the storm throws at us," said Jeff Mango, region president for Verizon Wireless Georgia/Alabama. "We prepare our network all year long, spending more than $110 million across these two states in 2008 to date, to be ready for storms and other emergencies. We work hard to ensure Georgians can use their phones when and where they need it."

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