September 16, 7:00pm
With Hurricane Florence downgraded to a tropical depression, Verizon network crews are beginning recovery efforts in impacted areas. Those efforts have already begun in earnest throughout parts of North Carolina and South Carolina.
As winds lessen and rain moves out, we are assessing damage and have mobilized equipment and people needed for repairs. We have an aerial cell site on standby to provide LTE service from the air and teams of drone pilots on standby to survey sites and assess damage in the near future.
With widespread power outages, 97% of our cell sites in the Carolinas are operating thanks to generators and batteries permanently installed in our sites for backup and reliability. Refueling operations have begun and will expand as it’s safe to access our facilities to ensure those towers remain in service.
Engineers and mobile assets have been moved in large numbers south of Wilmington and Jacksonville, the hardest hit areas, to help with recovery efforts including fleets of mobile generators that will be deployed as needed across our network.
Our network team is staffing our command center 24×7 and is in contact with federal, state and local emergency management teams to coordinate communication needs and efforts with them.
We have started to reopen stores in the impacted areas to serve our customers and will continue to do so in the coming days. Visit our Store Locator for more information. As the storm moves out of each area, we are assessing our locations for damage and will be opening for business to serve our residents in these communities as soon as conditions make it possible.
Media assets highlighting our Florence response and recovery efforts are available here.
September 14, 1:00pm
With Hurricane Florence hanging over the Carolinas, Verizon’s network continues to withstand the severity of the storm’s impact. As anticipated, flood waters and strong winds are impacting the area and commercial power is out throughout much of the Carolinas, but back-up generators are running where needed and we are on standby to refuel generators to ensure facilities continue operating as soon as the storm rolls through. Our network teams are staffing the 24×7 wireless command centers in hardened facilities throughout the impacted area that can withstand category five winds. They are assessing damage and preparing to mobilize equipment and people needed for repairs when safe to do so. We are in contact with federal, state and local emergency management teams and are coordinating communication needs and efforts with them.
To further support the community, Verizon is offering support to impacted residents by providing free calling, texting and data to our postpaid and prepaid customers who reside in the areas of Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia that are in the direct path of the storm, beginning today and running through Monday, September 17, and has also committed to $1 million grant to the American Red Cross to assist in relief efforts.
Additionally, between September 12, 2018 and September 28, 2018, the Verizon Foundation will match all U.S.-based Verizon employees’ donations of $25 or more made via the Verizon Foundation matching gift webpage, up to $1,000 per employee, to the American Red Cross.
Once the storm has passed, Verizon is ready to deploy our Wireless Emergency Communication Centers which are generator-powered mobile units on tractor trailers that have device charging and computer workstations, and wireless phones, tablets and other devices to contact friends, family and other important contacts over the Verizon Wireless 4G LTE network.