ALEXANDRIA, LA. – With Tropical Storm Isaac expected to make landfall on the Gulf Coast this week, Verizon Wireless encourages Louisiana residents to plan now for Isaac and the storm season ahead:
* Keep wireless phone batteries fully charged – in case local power is lost – well before warnings are issued. Have a backup battery handy, in the event you cannot get to a local Verizon Wireless communications store for a complimentary post-storm charge.
* Program emergency phone numbers into your phone – police, fire and rescue agencies; insurance providers; family, friends and co-workers; etc.
* Consider purchasing your own personal mobile hotspot – like the 4G LTE MiFi– to have instant access to the Internet (for up to 5 devices) even if power outages occur.
* If you do not have a cell phone, consider purchasing a prepaid phone to use if needed during or after a disaster.
* Download applications that can make disaster recovery efforts easier. Examples include:
* Disaster Prep and Checklist (iPhone) – Provides a means to collect necessary information on your phone including disaster kit checklists, family emergency plan forms, basic CPR and first aid information.
* Document Scanner (Android) – Scans documents (like insurance policies) with phone camera, converting them to PDFs and allows users to later access them from their devices through email, Dropbox and Google Docs.
* Flashlight (Android & iPhone) – Uses your phone's camera flash to emit bright light.
* Hurricane Tracker (iPhone) – Provides detailed information to stay up-to-date on hurricanes including over 50 satellite images and radar, bulletins from the National Hurricane Center and push notifications.
* S.O.S. by American Red Cross (iPhone) – Provides emergency care protocols and guides, by the American Red Cross and Dr. Oz.
When a storm strikes or threatens the area, use your wireless devices to help find shelter and remain updated with these applications:
* American Red Cross: Shelter View (iPhone) – Maps shelter locations and details across the United States.
* Disaster Alert <http://itunes.apple.com/app/disaster-alert-pacific-disaster/id381289235?mt=8> (iPhone and Android) – Features an interactive map that lists "disaster hazards" around the globe in real-time including hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, tsunamis and volcanoes.
* FEMA (Android) – Provides information on how to stay safe and recover after a disaster, a map with FEMA Disaster Recovery Center locations (one-stop centers where disaster survivors can access key relief services) and shelters.
"Preparation is vital for staying safe in emergencies," said Krista Bourne, president, Houston/Gulf Coast Region, Verizon Wireless. "Our teams across the Gulf Coast work hard year round to ensure our customers have a reliable network, especially during storm season. Our hope is that local families will use these tips to prepare well in advance of Tropical Storm Isaac's landfall."
For more information on hurricane preparedness tips from Verizon Wireless, visit www.verizonwireless.com.