MORRISTOWN, NJ — Verizon Wireless continues to assist recovery efforts along the East Coast, and throughout the Northeastern United States, in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Irene by supporting public safety agencies with additional wireless communication devices, network capacity and coverage, as well as planned cash donations to the American Red Cross in places hit hardest by the storm.
Prior to then-Hurricane Irene making landfall, Verizon activated its Crisis Response Team and staged equipment in strategic locations in preparation for recovery activities. The company's Network, Government and Business Sales and regional Operations teams have worked closely with emergency management officials during this post-storm phase to:
- Loan hundreds of wireless handsets and dedicated mobile Internet hotspot devices to local, state and federal public safety organizations engaged in relief efforts
- Activate additional network resources, including temporary mobile cell sites and generators, to assist customers and public safety teams, including:
- Brattleboro and Dover, VT - A CROW (Cell Repeater on Wheels) was deployed in both towns at the request of local emergency response teams.
- Mehoopay, PA - First responders lost communications after severe flooding knocked out local emergency communications. A COLT (Cell on Light Truck) was activated to support emergency services within 48 hours.
- Margaretsville, NY - A COLT was activated to enhance coverage for emergency responders and reconstruction contractors after severe flooding and road damage.
- Prattsville, NY - A COW (Cell on Wheels) was activated within 24 hours of a government request in a location of the Catskill Mountains hit particularly hard by rain and flooding.
- Stockbridge, VT - A COW is being activated to assist emergency response efforts.
- Stumpy Point, NC - A COLT was deployed to serve emergency workers after Route 12, the only access road to southern Hatteras Island, was flooded.
- Many temporary command locations have been outfitted with wireless coverage. The regional Network teams from Maine to the Carolinas acted quickly to meet customer needs, despite many employees having lost power for several days at their homes.
- Deploy a 53-foot mobile communications trailer to Paterson, NJ providing free domestic and international calling, Internet and recharging access to local residents without power.
- Mobile Command Centers were also dispatched to North Carolina and in New Kent, King and Queen Counties, Virginia.
- Provide free recharging, domestic calling, and Internet access from devices within all company-owned Verizon Wireless Communications stores
- Donate $10,000 to the Vermont & New Hampshire Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross
COMMITMENT TO NETWORK RELIABILITY
"Our wireless network performed very well throughout the storm, outperforming our competitors in several markets, with particular advantages in Connecticut, Rhode Island and Vermont," said Dave Heverling, Northeast Network VP, Verizon Wireless. "Overall, we had significantly fewer cells out of service than our competitors, and were much better prepared with our backup power plans.
"Over the last decade we've invested over $65 billion nationwide into our network coverage, capacity and reliability -- including backup power systems," said Heverling. "Since we already had battery backup and permanent generators in place at our switches and most cell sites, we were able to provide wireless service for our customers despite widespread commercial power loss, and could concentrate our resources on supporting first responders and public safety officials with their needs."
The company's commitment to network reliability, business continuity and disaster preparedness has proven critical during and after hurricanes and other disasters. Learn more about Verizon Wireless' ongoing disaster preparedness and find tips and information to help you stay connected before, during and after an emergency by visiting the Verizon Wireless Emergency Preparedness site.
About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless operates the nation’s fastest, most advanced 4G network and largest, most reliable 3G network. The company serves 106.3 million total wireless connections, including 89.7 million retail customers. Headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., with 83,000 employees nationwide, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE, NASDAQ: VZ) and Vodafone (LSE, NASDAQ: VOD). For more information, visit www.verizonwireless.com. To preview and request broadcast-quality video footage and high-resolution stills of Verizon Wireless operations, log on to the Verizon Wireless Multimedia Library at www.verizonwireless.com/multimedia.