Atlanta – In the wake of Sunday’s devastating tornadoes in Lee County, Alabama, and surrounding areas resulting from the severe weather outbreak across the southeastern United States, Verizon is supporting impacted residents, businesses and first responders working on the ground.
Verizon leader Tami Erwin said, “When this disaster hit, we were there. The V-Team is ensuring network quality; providing free calls, texts and data to customers in the affected areas; working side by side with first responders; providing extra equipment to law enforcement and volunteer relief organizations on-site; and making $100,000 in donations to relief efforts on the ground.”
Temporary assets to improve service
Verizon has two Towers on Wheels (TOWs) en route to the area where two cell sites were damaged during the storm, to be deployed to boost network coverage and capacity. Overall, our network is operating business as usual in the impacted areas, serving both our customers and emergency management teams.
Free calling, texting and data for customers
We are providing free calling, texting and data to our postpaid and prepaid customers who reside in the following Alabama counties –
Barbour, Bullock, Henry, Lee, Macon, Pike, and Russell – and the following Georgia counties – Grady, Harris and Talbot – beginning Tuesday, March 5, through Sunday, March 10.
Significant support for first responders
Supporting first responders and relief agencies is a priority. We have dedicated staff working with local emergency operations centers (EOCs) as well as the Alabama Emergency Management Agency (AEMA) and the Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA). We have deployed a Wireless Emergency Communications Center (WECC) – a generator-powered mobile unit that has device charging, computer workstations, and wireless phones, tablets and other devices - as well as a Mobile Command Trailer providing satellite connectivity to support the on-the-ground efforts of the Lee County Sheriff’s Office and other first responders at their base of operations, and other assets are ready to be deployed as needed.
In addition, we have wireless equipment including phones, routers, mobile hotspots, tablets and charging cables available on loan to emergency and relief organizations.
$100,000 pledged to non-profit organizations for relief and recovery efforts
We are donating $100,000 to support relief and recovery efforts in the impacted areas – $40,000 to the Governor’s Emergency Relief Fund, to support unmet needs for impacted Alabama individuals and families recovering from the storm; $40,000 to the Community Foundation of East Alabama, to support long-term recovery efforts in these areas; and $20,000 to the American Red Cross, to support their on-the-ground relief and recovery efforts.
Text to donate
Verizon customers can use their mobile phones to make a $10 donation to the American Red Cross, for tornado relief in Alabama. Customers can make a $10 donation by simply texting REDCROSS to 90999, and can donate up to ten times, for a total of $100.
We are waiving any text messaging fees for disaster relief and 100 percent of each donation goes to American Red Cross relief efforts. Customers who pay monthly bills will see their donations on the next regular monthly bill. For customers using the company's prepaid services, donations will be taken from customers' prepaid balances.