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Verizon responds: Keeping customers connected as severe weather hits California


As severe weather continues to batter California and other parts of the West Coast with a series of atmospheric rivers and bomb cyclones, Verizon is working around the clock to keep customers connected. These storms have delivered heavy rain, strong winds and snow. Communities in Northern California are dealing with floods, debris flows, road closures, downed trees and commercial power outages. With safety as its top priority, Verizon is committed to making sure customers can use their mobile devices when it matters most.

Verizon’s extreme network is recognized for reliability and designed to withstand extreme weather with redundancy on critical paths and components to continue to serve its customers to deliver superior service. Battery and generator backup systems in critical locations – such as macro cell sites, switch locations and network-operation centers – also minimize the risk of disruption if commercial power is lost. Verizon engineers also ensure all cell-site generator fuel levels are high, test battery back-ups at network facilities, and train emergency crews to respond quickly to any network issue.

The Verizon Frontline Crisis Response Team has deployed to several communities in Northern California to provide mission-critical communications support to public safety agencies responding to the ongoing severe weather. The team is in contact with city and county emergency management teams and is currently coordinating communication needs and efforts with the public safety agencies operating in the region. The Verizon Frontline Crisis Response Team has now deployed more than 30 Verizon Frontline solutions including two Satellite Picocells on Trailers (SPOTs) in support of emergency response operations.

Verizon Frontline is the advanced network and technology built for first responders – developed over three decades of partnership with public safety officials and agencies - to meet their unique and evolving needs.

The Verizon Frontline Crisis Response Team provides on-demand, emergency assistance during crisis situations to government agencies, emergency responders, nonprofits and communities on a 24/7 basis at no cost to the supported agencies. Verizon Frontline Crisis Response Team members set up portable cell sites, WiFi hotspots, free charging stations and other Verizon Frontline devices and solutions that enable communications and/or boost network performance.

Verizon’s retail team stands ready to assist customers and ensure they have the right devices, accessories and connectivity to prepare for extended power outages, mandatory evacuation orders, and other extreme circumstances. Convenient options like locker, curbside and instore pickup also provide quick ways to get in and out.

In addition to the right tech, customers will also want to take steps to ensure their families are prepared for power outages, flooding and other weather events.

  • Keep devices dry: While many phones today have some degree of water resistance, you’ll want to ensure phones, tablets, batteries, chargers and other equipment remain dry and accessible. Plastic zipper storage bags help shield devices, as do weatherproof phones, cases and other protective accessories.

  • Keep devices fully charged: Make sure devices are ready by keeping phone and tablet batteries fully charged.

  • Get some backup: When power is out for an extended period of time, portable battery packs and car chargers can become critical to staying connected.

  • Create a list: Keep a list of emergency numbers so that they are easily accessible.

  • Be prepared for loss: Take pictures of valuables and other important belongings for possible insurance claims. And make sure they’re uploaded to the cloud as a backup.

  • Review checklists: Review the Flood Safety Checklist recommendations and other resources from the American Red Cross.

  • Download useful apps: There are plenty of free apps for public safety alerts, weather, news, and safety-related available for download.

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