I know many of my readers have noticed the increase in “all things Verizon” lately. I want to say upfront this is NOT a sponsored post. I have been a very satisfied Verizon customer for years, so the campaign for FitFluential was dear to my heart. But this is not about a campaign. This is me talking about something that is outside the realm of fitness and running and even my beloved CrossFit and Paleo lifestyle.
What happens when the world seems like it’s over?
My last FB post on April 27, 2011, 2:36PM. I was responding to a map and status from our weather genius, James Spann. He saved lives that day.
See that blue circle with "45%"…yes that’s us.
Wow. You rarely see tornado percentages this high with an SPC convective outlook. Very dangerous situation for Alabama this afternoon and tonight.
My next FB message at April 27, 9:09PM
“It’s like a bomb went off”.
That was my first text on my crappy Blackberry* after the worst-case-scenario happened. We knew the storms were coming. We were prepared. But when it happened, you just can’t get your head to understand the devastation. And when things go bad fast, you want to be able to depend on cell service. Immediately after the storm hit, I was able to get a call to my mother to let her know we were alive. Once the towers went down, it was only 4 more hours until we had FULL cell service back through their Cells On Wheels program and satellite switching capabilities. How they got through the debris, I have no idea. But they did. And not only that, the next day they set up charging stations and places to use their cell to contact family members. They are more than just a business during a local disaster. Our town was reeling but they came through with outstanding CUSTOMER service, not just cell service.
After we got cell service back around 9pm, we made the calls to our family members and then the calls came in letting us know of friends and family who had damage. We drove into town to start with cleanup. And the next morning, we started disaster recovery and Verizon was in full service. Other services were not. We could NOT have reached the hundreds of people we did if we didn’t have reliable cell service. Tuscaloosa couldn’t wait for FEMA to show up. We had to coordinate with other churches to reach as many people as possible without getting in the way of city trying to set up basic services. For 7 days, sun up to sun down, our church (in the parking lot since the building was destroyed) worked in shifts to feed the local people and drive to other hardest hit areas to pass out supplies. Cell service is CRUCIAL during disasters. It took the worst one I’ve ever experienced to realize that.
Here is the link to more information regarding their disaster response. But check out the video to hear from real people like me.
*As for the crappy Blackberry, it failed me when I needed it most. Once I got the chance, I got an iPhone. I have never looked back!