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Verizon Wireless Reminds Business Customers That Wireless Can Play A Vital Role In Disaster Preparation Plans


BASKING RIDGE, NJ — Verizon Wireless works year-round to prepare for natural disasters or other emergencies, so business customers can rely on its wireless network to keep them and their employees connected, productive and competitive – even when the unexpected strikes.

“Wireless communication is especially important when disaster strikes – whether a natural disaster, community emergency, or an emergency affecting a single business,” said Jack Plating, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Verizon Wireless.

Verizon Wireless offers the following tips for businesses to consider before operations are interrupted:

* Maintain an updated contact list, including mobile and home phone numbers and e-mail addresses, for all employees.
* Identify an alternative number or voice mail where calls can be forwarded if your office is closed or employees are evacuated. Set up a hotline number for employees, employees’ families, customers and partners to call for updates on the business situation and emergency plan.
* Make sure every employee knows how to use text messaging to communicate. Text messages are more likely to get through, especially when wireless networks are overwhelmed just before, during and immediately after a natural disaster like a hurricane landfall or tornado warning.
* Equip key employees with laptops with Verizon Wireless BroadbandAccess service. When office computers or servers are destroyed by fire or under water, or when electrical power is knocked out to your office, Verizon Wireless’ BroadbandAccess service enables businesses and mobile professionals to conduct business anytime, anywhere in the BroadbandAccess coverage area via a secure, high-speed data connection.
* Be truly mobile by making sure company mobile phone and BroadbandAccess users have chargers that can be plugged into auto cigarette lighters for all their devices. When there’s a widespread power outage, business people can power their devices in their cars.
* VZ Navigator(SM) (Version 4) is a Verizon Wireless service that can provide enhanced directions to help drivers navigate around traffic jams and other delays that can occur in weather-related crises such as floods, hurricanes or wildfires.

Other general business continuity planning tips include:

* Inventory critical equipment and applications, and assess any vulnerability. Determine the best location for these services to help reduce catastrophic outages and ensure rapid recovery response time. Alternatives in addition to wireless backup range from physical relocation of equipment to outsourcing.
* Build redundancy to support critical operations. A combination of diverse network routing, in addition to wireless data capabilities, and the ability to duplicate mission-critical applications is essential to communications and the continuity of business operations.
* Train and educate your employees. An organization is only as good as its people. Design an effective distributed work business model and ensure employees have the training and tools to do their jobs – either in the office, on the road or at home. Perform skills set assessments to understand staffing requirements necessary to support continuous operations.
* Review, test and refresh – continuously. Once a plan has been developed, it must be reviewed, tested and refreshed. A business continuity plan is a living document and a critical business asset. Plans should be routinely updated and tested throughout the year.

Verizon Wireless’ reputation as the nation’s most reliable wireless network is supported by industry-leading redundancy and maintenance measures. Verizon Wireless currently has more than 200 business continuity/disaster recovery plans in place, covering all of the company’s critical business functions to help keep customers connected and operating during any kind of emergency. The Verizon Wireless business continuity team conducts emergency drills throughout the year to increase the company’s response capabilities.

Verizon Wireless’ emergency response capabilities have been tested and proven during many difficult situations including the wildfires of 2007 and 2008, recent tornadoes in the Midwest and South, flooding in the Northwest, and the extraordinary hurricane seasons of 2004 and 2005. The Verizon Wireless network in Florida withstood the impact of eight hurricanes in 2004 and 2005 and delivered top performance compared with other communication networks that were more adversely affected.


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