Heavy wet snow predicted; power outages possible
SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. (March 14, 2013) - FairPoint Communications, a leading communications provider in northern New England, is readying resources, operations and support personnel and materials and supplies to respond to a potentially damaging late winter storm in Vermont.
FairPoint's network is backed up by generators and batteries to help ensure uninterrupted telephone service. FairPoint's emergency planning team also is positioning crews and supplies - poles, cable and other equipment - for rapid deployment should they be needed.
"Communications are vital before, during and after a storm," said Karen Mead, senior vice president of operations for FairPoint. "We're ready for what Mother Nature may bring."
The National Weather Service in Burlington has issued a winter storm warning, in effect from midnight through 8 a.m. on Wednesday. The Weather Service predicts 6 to 12 inches of heavy wet snow in the Champlain Valley and Northeast Kingdom, with 10 to 18 inches of snow possible in the mountains of north central Vermont. Heaviest snows are expected early Tuesday morning and again late Tuesday afternoon and evening.
Gusty southeast winds of 15 to 25 mph combined with heavy wet snow could bring down tree limbs and create scattered power outages, the Weather Service advises.
"People should plan for power interruptions and use their plug-in corded phone to stay connected with friends and family or call for help if the need arises," Mead said. Cordless phones will not work if the electric power goes out, absent battery back-up.
During severe storms and massive power outages, FairPoint voice mail customers have been able to store and retrieve calls while answering machines that rely on electrically generated power may not work absent battery back-up, Mead added.
Tips for preparing for major storms
Gather the following:
- Water to last three to seven days.
- An alternate communication plan to stay in touch with family.
- Non-perishable food to last three to seven days.
- Blankets and pillows for the entire family.
- All necessary medicines, prescription drugs, and a first-aid kit.
- Radio, flashlight, and plenty of batteries.
- A phone book for numbers you might otherwise have stored electronically.
You'll also want to:
- Locate a traditional landline phone?corded, not cordless.
- Fully charge your cell phone, find the car charger, and fill up the car with gas.
Tips for after storm hits:
- Call FairPoint and alert them if you have lost service, FairPoint personnel will be on hand 24/7 to take your outage report.
- DO NOT TOUCH or move a downed phone or power lines, or anything in contact with those lines! You cannot tell whether a line is electrified or not. Stay at least 50 feet away!
- Remember to use your corded landline phone to test for service; cordless phones will not work during a power outage.
About FairPoint Communications, Inc.
FairPoint Communications, Inc. (NasdaqCM: FRP) is a leading communications provider of broadband Internet access, local and long-distance phone, television and other high-capacity data services to customers in communities across 17 states. Through its fast, reliable fiber network, FairPoint delivers high-quality data and voice networking communications solutions to residential, business and wholesale customers. FairPoint delivers VantagePointSM services through its resilient IP-based network in northern New England. This state-of-the-art fiber network provides carrier Ethernet connections to support the surging bandwidth and performance requirements for cloud-based applications like network storage, disaster recovery, distance learning, medical imaging, video conferencing and CAD/CAM along with traditional voice, VoIP, video and Internet access solutions. Additional information about FairPoint products and services is available at www.FairPoint.com. You can also connect with FairPoint on Twitter (http://www.twitter.com/fairpoint) and Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/myfairpoint).