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RISMEDIA, May 20, 2011—With the 2011 Hurricane Season set to begin June 1, Floridians should be preparing an emergency communication plan to keep their families safe and in touch.

Verizon Wireless offers these tips for storm season:
• Keep phones, batteries, chargers and other equipment in a dry, accessible location. Consider waterproof accessories or simple zip-lock storage bags to protect devices.
• 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.
• Maintain a list of emergency numbers—police and fire agencies; power and insurance companies; family, friends and co-workers; etc.—and program them into your phone.
• Distribute wireless phone numbers to family members and friends.
• Download from a wide variety of weather- and safety-related applications for smartphones, tablets and other devices. Many of these apps are free.
• Use a service such as Backup Assistant, the free Verizon Wireless application that stores a phone’s address book on a secure server in case the phone is lost or damaged.

Verizon Wireless also suggsests the following actions once a storm is on the way:
• 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.
• Forward your home phone calls to your wireless number if you evacuate.
• Check weather and news reports on wireless phone applications when power is out.

“We have been fortunate the last few years in Florida, as any major storms have missed us,” says Pam Tope, Florida region president for Verizon Wireless. “But we can’t get complacent. Preparation, and the earlier the better, is important in staying safe.”

For more information visit www.verizonwireless.com.

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