Bell Atlantic Ready for Hurricane Bonnie

Bell Atlantic Ready for Hurricane Bonnie

Company Tracks Storm, Readies Personnel and Equipment

August 24, 1998


Mark Marchand,
518-396-1080, or 212-395-0500

NEW YORK - Bell Atlantic is preparing for Hurricane Bonnie as the season's latest storm tracks toward the East Coast, packing winds of up to 115 miles per hour.

"Caring for our customers is Bell Atlantic's top priority - we want customers to know that we're ready," said Arnie Eckelman, Bell Atlantic group president-customer services.

"While it is unclear where or how significantly this storm will hit, we're mobilizing to handle the impact of a hurricane," added Eckelman. "We've activated our storm tracking center, and we're taking the steps necessary to maintain service to our customers and to quickly repair any potential damage to our phone lines."

As they monitor the storm track each hour, company workers are checking the backup power systems in central call-switching offices. These computerized centers provide dial tone to customers around the clock and route customer calls throughout the world. All of these centers have backup batteries and/or diesel generators for use in the event of a power outage.

"Maintaining continuous dial tone from these switching centers is critical in situations such as these," said Ed Sproat, Bell Atlantic group president-network services. "We spend a great deal of time and resources in preparing for potential power disruptions - so we're ready."

The company also is notifying vendors who supply cable and other equipment, asking them to be ready to provide supplies at a moment's notice. Finally, Bell Atlantic is ready to move additional workers into hard-hit areas, if necessary.

Bell Atlantic is at the forefront of the new communications and information industry. With more than 41 million telephone access lines and more than seven million wireless customers worldwide, Bell Atlantic companies are premier providers of advanced wireline voice and data services, market leaders in wireless services and the world's largest publishers of directory information. Bell Atlantic companies are also among the world's largest investors in high-growth global communications markets, with operations and investments in 23 countries.