Verizon turns COWs, COLTs and more into cave dwellers

Verizon Wireless (NYSE: VZ) said it has stored network assets for emergency preparedness disaster recovery (EPDR) within the Kansas/Missouri region 60 feet underground into a 20,000-square-foot cave.

Shifted below ground is a veritable barnyard of equipment such as cells on wheels (COWs), cells on light trucks (COLTS), HVACs on roadside equipment (HORSEs), generators on a trailer (GOATs), repeaters on a trailer (RATs) and cell repeaters on wheels (CROWs).

The move, which was initiated after the May 2011 tornado in Joplin, Mo., reflects Verizon's effort to defend its rapid deployment equipment from the oft-troublesome Midwest weather. Depending upon the season, environmental challenges can include thunderstorms, high winds, hail, tornadoes, snowstorms and ice storms.

"We needed a place to store our EPDR assets that could protect them from the weather and allow us to keep them ready for fast deployment," said Tony LaRose, Verizon Wireless manager of operations for Kansas/Missouri.

Source: Verizon Wireless

From the cave location in Missouri, the operator can dispatch emergency equipment to virtually all locations in Kansas, Missouri and southern Illinois within three hours. Equipment has also been sent as needed to other parts of the country, such as Moore, Okla., after last year's tornado there and to the East Coast after Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

For more:
- see this Verizon release

Related articles:
Hurricane Sandy task force calls for more resilient wireless networks
Public safety experts debate next-gen 911 in wake of Oklahoma tornado devastation
Hurricane Sandy: Wireless carriers restore most disrupted service
In photos: Touring Verizon's Cell On Light Truck