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Press Release -- October 8th, 2020
Source: Verizon
Tags:

Verizon Response: Hurricane Delta

Media contact(s)
Heidi Flato
925.324.8692
heidi.flato@verizon.com
Lauren Schulz
845-500-8272
lauren.schulz@verizon.com

What you need to know:

  • Network engineers have made significant progress in restoring cell sites in the most heavily impacted areas
  • Backup batteries and generators are keeping cell sites online where commercial power is out
  • We continue to monitor the storm’s impact as it moves through the Southeast

**Editor’s Note: We have b-roll, pictures and additional information on our emergency response equipment available at our Media Resource Center - https://www.verizon.com/about/news/media-resources

October 11 Update


Network Update

We continue to work around the clock on network restoration efforts and significant progress is being made along the Gulf Coast. Our teams have been able to return service to all but a few sites and are working expeditiously to get all remaining sites up and running today.

Commercial power is needed for cell sites and some mobile assets to work. Power outages remain in some areas and we will continue refueling operations to keep our generators running 24x7 until commercial power is restored to the affected sites.

There are also isolated widely scattered impacts to cell sites in Tennessee and the Carolinas. The network teams are maintaining vigilant monitoring of the network as the storm moves through the Southeast and are standing by to respond.

The network moratorium on non-essential maintenance, upgrades or changes that was in effect in areas along the Gulf Coast has been lifted in all states but Louisiana and will remain in effect until further notice.

Verizon Stores

Verizon retail stores may be closed or have reduced hours due to the storm. You can find the nearest one that’s open by visiting: https://www.verizonwireless.com/stores/.

October 10 Update


Network Update

Tropical Storm Delta left commercial power outages in its wake and continues to track inland. Although we are seeing some sites out of service in the heaviest hit areas - Calcasieu Parish and the surrounding area - our network has backup generators and batteries running to keep our cell sites in service.

This morning our crews have begun site assessments and started the restoration work. We will move mobile assets into place as needed, and activate a massive refueling operation to keep sites running until power is restored.

Our Network teams and vendor partners are staffing our 24x7 virtual wireless command center and we are in contact with federal, state and local emergency management teams, coordinating communication needs and efforts.

Verizon Stores

Verizon retail stores may be closed or have reduced hours due to the storm. You can find the nearest one that’s open by visiting: https://www.verizonwireless.com/stores/.

Text-to-donate

Verizon customers can help the American Red Cross or World Central Kitchen in their disaster relief efforts by texting the word DELTA to 90999 for American Red Cross, or FOOD to 80100 for World Central Kitchen, and $10 will be added to their Verizon Wireless bill upon confirmation of the billing zip code.

October 9 Update


Talk/Text/Data offer

Based on the latest track of Hurricane Delta, Verizon is expanding its unlimited calling, texting and data offer for consumer and small business customers1 in Texas and Louisiana. It will run through October 15 for the following parishes and county (new in bold):

Louisiana: Acadia, Allen, Avoyelles, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron, Evangeline, Iberia, Jefferson Davis, Lafayette, Rapides, St. Landry, St. Martin, St. Mary, Vermilion, Vernon

Texas: Jefferson

Verizon retail stores may be closed or have reduced hours due to the storm. You can find the nearest one that’s open by visiting: https://www.verizonwireless.com/stores/.

Text-to-donate

Verizon customers can help the American Red Cross or World Central Kitchen in their disaster relief efforts by texting the word DELTA to 90999 for American Red Cross, or FOOD to 80100 for World Central Kitchen, and $10 will be added to their Verizon Wireless bill upon confirmation of the billing zip code.

Health of the Network

Verizon’s network team is standing by ready to support any network events, should they occur. The Network Emergency Operation Center team is completing preparation checklists. The Verizon Response Team (VRT) stands at the ready 24/7 to support first responders. Mobile assets are pre-staged outside of the areas in the potential path of Hurricane Delta, ready to be deployed as needed and Verizon teams continue to closely monitor the storm and are ready to respond.

1 Includes small businesses with 50 lines or less

October 8 Update


Talk/Text/Data offer

For our consumer and small business customers* in the path of Hurricane Delta, beginning Friday, October 9 through Thursday, October 15, Verizon is providing unlimited calling, texting and data to those who reside in the following parishes:

Louisiana: Acadia, Allen, Avoyelles, Calcasieu, Cameron, Evangeline, Iberia, Jefferson Davis, Lafayette, Rapides, St. Landry, St. Martin, St. Mary, Vermilion

Our Verizon Response team is available 24/7 to coordinate with first responders. We are mobilizing charging stations, devices, special equipment, emergency vehicles and more to support local, state and federal agencies across the US. More public safety professionals rely on Verizon than any other network. During times of crisis, we provide network priority and preemption for first responders at no cost to public safety agencies. This gives first responders access to the network when they need it. Additionally, when disaster strikes, the Verizon Response Team (VRT) is available 24/7 365 days a year to coordinate with first responders to provide essential technologies during a crisis.

Verizon retail stores may be closed or have reduced hours due to the storm. You can find the nearest one that’s open by visiting: https://www.verizonwireless.com/stores/.

“Our hearts go out to Louisiana residents bearing the brunt of this year’s relentless hurricane season,” said Michelle Miller, Verizon Consumer Vice President. “While it certainly is exhausting for those living there, rest assured Verizon is here for you both with reliable connectivity and unlimited calling, texting and data, so you can focus on the things that matter most - keeping you and your family safe.”

Health of the Network

The strength, reliability and strong performance of our network continues to be essential to our customers during these times and our teams have been preparing for Hurricane Delta as it moves towards the Gulf Coast with the same tireless dedication and commitment to reliable communications.

Network preparations include:

  • Fixed and mobile generators are being topped off and run to ensure readiness
  • Generator fuel is being pre-positioned for refueling post-event
  • Mobile network assets are being checked and positioned for deployment
  • A network moratorium on non-essential maintenance, upgrades or changes is in effect in areas along the Gulf Coast.

Reliable communications more important than ever

“As Hurricane Delta bears down on the Gulf Coast -- the 10th storm to make landfall in the United States this year -- the need for reliable communications is mission critical for first responders,” said Jerome Hauer, Former Commissioner, New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, and member of the Verizon First Responder Advisory Council. “The role of technology providers like Verizon in the run up and aftermath of the storm is to provide the network coverage, devices, charging stations and other solutions they need to support communities affected by these storms.”

Includes small businesses with 50 lines or less

Verizon's temporary network assets are stationed in the area ready to help supplement coverage or capacity should Hurricane Delta impact the network.

October 7 Update


We’re ready to keep our network running

NEW ORLEANS, L.A. - In preparation for Hurricane Delta, the Verizon network team has been busily readying the network to provide reliable, dependable communications before, during and after the storm. When hurricanes like Delta hit, power outages are commonplace. Verizon has backup power in the form of batteries and generators at our cell sites and network facilities so that even if commercial power is lost, our network can continue to run. We have pre-arranged for ongoing fuel deliveries to the generators so if commercial power is out for a long period, we are able to keep customers and first responders connected to the people and resources they need.

Extreme weather events can also damage fiber optic cables, which carry data and are an essential part of keeping our wireless network running. Despite having duplicate fiber paths for redundancy, fiber can be damaged in multiple places due to sustained winds, a storm surge or even manual cuts during storm recovery work, impacting communications. To respond to that circumstance, we have a fleet of satellite enabled portable equipment that can serve as a temporary alternative to fiber and can aid in the restoration of service in critical areas.

Having recently responded to impacts from Hurricanes Laura and Sally, the network team has quickly performed maintenance on Verizon’s fleet of mobile assets - such as mobile cell sites and satellite links - and deployed those assets just outside of the predicted storm impact zone for quick mobility after the storm rolls through. With attention to health concerns during the ongoing pandemic, the network Emergency Operation Center has been activated with many functions virtualized to make it easier for our engineers working on network repairs and deploying mobile assets to remain socially distanced. We have also arranged for individual portable housing units for mission critical network engineers in the field.

We’re ready to support our first responders and community

Verizon is the No. 1 network for public safety. During Delta and at all times of crisis, we provide network priority and preemption for first responders at no cost to public safety agencies. As always, first responders have access to the Verizon network when they need it. Additionally, the Verizon Response Team (VRT) will be available onsite 24/7 as the storm makes landfall and in its aftermath to coordinate with first responders and to provide essential technologies as long as they’re needed. VRT assets including devices, special equipment, emergency vehicles and more to support local, state and federal agencies responding to the storm.

Not only do we work to ensure our network is ready for the storm, but we make plans to be there for our neighbors who may be impacted. We have mobile Wireless Emergency Communications Centers, Tactical Command Trailers, and Response Trailers ready to deploy to support first responders and community members during recovery efforts. We also have portable cell sites and equipment to support first responders’ emergency command centers.

Due to the storm, Verizon retail stores may be closed or have reduced hours. You can find the latest hours and locations by visiting: https://www.verizonwireless.com/stores/.

Have a plan for your family

Before landfall, we encourage you to take these steps to ensure your loved ones are ready to communicate during the storm:

Device preparation:

  • Ensure all battery-powered devices are fully charged before the storm hits. This includes wireless phones and smartphones, laptops, tablets, flashlights and radios
  • Wireless devices can be a key source of information and communication in the event of an emergency, so be sure to keep phones, tablets, laptops, batteries, chargers and other equipment in dry, accessible locations like re-sealable plastic bags, dry bags or waterproof cases
  • In case of evacuation, make sure you know where your chargers are, both wall and vehicle charging cords, and have portable device chargers fully charged and next to your device

Know and back up your info:

  • Maintain a list of emergency phone numbers and email addresses, including police, fire and rescue agencies; power companies; insurance providers; and family, friends and co-workers. Program them into your phone, smartphone, tablet or laptop and also have a hard copy handy, someplace easily accessible
  • Backup your information on Verizon Cloud - Verizon offers backup assistance through the Verizon Cloud to store your phone’s address book and contact information as well as pictures and other content on a secure server
  • Record video/take photos of your possessions in your residence before severe weather hits

Bookmark resources:

  • Download weather applications and alerts that provide users with a variety of information such as radar images, forecasts and severe storm warnings
  • Program your smartphone to receive emergency alerts. Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEAs) are free wireless notifications that are delivered to your mobile device by local/national public safety organizations
  • Also in case of evacuation, bookmark your emergency resources on your phone so you can research any special restrictions, limitations or instructions if you need emergency shelter, medical care or other support that may be impacted by COVID-19.

How businesses and government organizations can prepare and stay connected

Businesses and governments know the importance of preparedness. As Hurricane Delta approaches, contingency planning is critical. We offer customers products and services that can help disaster-proof communications and enable business continuity.

It’s also a good time to review readiness plans. Suggested steps for businesses and government organizations include:

  • Make sure you have contact information updated and readily available for all employees
  • Make copies of insurance documents, review insurance coverages and update as appropriate
  • Ensure employees working from home have documented all corporate equipment being used to work from home in case of damage or loss
  • Ensure you have a backup plan to shift work in case work-from-home employees in a storm-impacted area have to evacuate their home or their home loses commercial power

**Editor’s Note: We have b-roll, pictures and additional information on our emergency response equipment available at our Media Resource Center - https://www.verizon.com/about/news/media-resources

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