Wireless Emergency Communications Centers to provide on-the-ground community and first responder support
Verizon Response Team ready to roll
**Editor’s Note: To access images and b-roll of this and past storms, Verizon equipment, recovery efforts and more, please visit Verizon’s Emergency Resource Hub at https://www.verizon.com/about/news/emergency-resource-center
New Orleans – While the rain continues to fall and waters rise, Verizon continues to keep loved ones and first responders connected with strong network performance at typical non-storm levels. As anticipated, flood waters are impacting the entire area and commercial power is out in many places throughout Louisiana, but back-up generators are running, providing power to our cell sites, and we have begun to refuel those generators to ensure facilities continue operating normally. Our network teams and vendor partners are staffing the wireless command center and are in contact with federal, state and local emergency management teams to support community recovery efforts as needed.
Extending unlimited calling, texting and data to a total of 28 parishes
Our focus has intensified around on-the-ground community and first responder support as the storm continues on its path. Verizon is extending unlimited calling, texting and data to our postpaid, prepaid and small business customers impacted by the storm in the following 12 parishes through Friday, July 19: Assumption, Jefferson, Lafourche, Orleans, Plaquemines, Saint Bernard, Saint Charles, Saint James, Saint John the Baptist, Saint Martin, Saint Mary and Terrebonne.
Additionally, beginning today and running through Friday, July 19 we are expanding this relief to our customers in the following 16 parishes: Lafayette, Acadia, Iberia, Tangipahoa, East Baton Rouge, Livingston, Saint Tammany, West Baton Rouge, Saint Landry, Ascension, West Feliciana, East Feliciana, Saint Helena, Washington, Iberville and Pointe Coupee.
In addition to the $25,000 donation for the Foundation for Louisiana’s Rapid Relief Fund, to help storm victims stay connected, a Wireless Emergency Communication Center (WECC) is on its way to the mega shelter located at 8125 US-71 in Alexandria, Louisiana. WECCs are large, generator-powered mobile units that have device charging and computer workstations with free internet access, along with wireless phones, tablets and other devices to contact friends, family and other important contacts over Verizon's 4G LTE network. Two other WECCs are on their way and ready to be deployed when additional support needs are identified.
The Verizon Response Team continues close coordination with city, state and federal officials and first responders, and dozens of devices have already been deployed to support their mission critical relief efforts with hundreds more on standby if needed.
“Verizon is committed to the communities where we live and work, and never more so than times like these,” said John Granby, Verizon Consumer Group South Area President. “We are proud to stand with and provide assistance to our customers in the impacted areas.”
All Verizon retail stores throughout the area except Harvey, Houma and Lafayette are open for business as usual to assist customers. Anyone, regardless of wireless carrier, looking to charge their devices can stop by any of our corporate store locations. You can find the nearest one by visiting: https://www.verizonwireless.com/stores/
Verizon customers can help the American Red Cross in their disaster relief efforts by texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 and $10 will be added to their Verizon Wireless bill upon confirmation of the billing zip code.
Customers can verify eligibility for call/text/data relief by entering their zip code at https://www.verizonwireless.com/featured/relief/. Due to the weekend, the website will not reflect the additional zip codes until Monday, July 15.