September is National Preparedness Month and a good reminder for everyone to have a plan in the event of a natural disaster. For California residents, that also means preparing and protecting your home or business in the event of a wildfire.
A top priority for Cox during a wildfire or other natural disaster is to keep customers connected so they can stay informed, check in with family and friends, and even still be able to access their shows and movies if they’re evacuated.
Cox also works hard to keep business customers, including hospitals and offices of Emergency Services, connected so they can continue to serve their customers and the public.
Wildfire season typically occurs from May through October. However, wildfires can occur at any time. Some of the largest and deadliest wildfires in California have occurred in November (Camp Fire in Northern California in 2018) and December (Thomas Fire in Santa Barbara in 2017).
Cox prepares all year long for natural disasters, including wildfires, by reviewing its business continuity plan and running through simulated events such as a wildfire or earthquake so that employees in all facets of its operations will be prepared and know their role and responsibilities during a natural disaster.
When strong winds and other weather conditions create an increased risk for wildfires, the local power company may notify their residential customers, and business customers like Cox, that they’ll be implementing a Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS). In the event of a PSPS, Cox services may be interrupted in a neighborhood where power is shut off.
During a wildfire or PSPS, Cox works closely with the power company and public safety agencies to monitor the situation and ensure the safety of its network and facilities to keep residential and business customers connected. The safety of its employees, customers and community are paramount to Cox during a natural disaster.
There are also some things customers can also do to help better prepare for an unexpected event or Public Safety Power Shutoff.
Have a charged backup battery for your landline phone
Most cordless home phones require electricity and won’t work in an outage. In addition, power is needed for telephone equipment and Cox’s network to be accessed. In the event of an emergency, if Cox’s network is operating during a power outage, make sure you have a charged backup battery to help ensure you can receive a Reverse 911 call. You can purchase a backup battery by calling 855-324-7700 or visiting a nearby Cox Solutions Store.
Get updates on Cox’s Twitter handle
In the event of a Public Safety Power Shutoff, wildfire or other natural disaster, Cox will post service outage updates and other important information on Twitter. Follow Cox at @coxcalifornia.
Download Cox apps before a wildfire or PSPS occurs
• Cox app – Manage your account; receive notifications from the app when there’s an outage in your area and when the outage is over.
• Cox Contour app – Turn your smartphone or tablet into a portable TV; access programming available with your Cox subscription while away from home.
• Cox Voice Everywhere app – Your home phone away from home. Make or receive calls on up to four separate devices.
Consumer Disaster Protections
Customers whose residential telephone service is impacted during a state of emergency declared by the California Governor’s Office or the President of the United States may be eligible to receive disaster relief protections such as a waiver of onetime activation fee for establishing remote call forwarding, remote access to call forwarding, call forwarding features and messaging services. For information about these consumer disaster protections, click here.
For more helpful information and tips, visit cox.com/CaliforniaAssist.