Bell Atlantic Ready for Hurricanes

Bell Atlantic Ready for Hurricanes

Company Tracks Storms, Readies Personnel and Equipment

August 26, 1999


Mark Marchand ,

NEW YORK -- Bell Atlantic is preparing for the hurricane season's latest
storms as they track toward the East Coast, packing high winds and heavy

Company technicians are checking thousands of emergency generators and
backup batteries that help the company continue supplying dial tone when
commercial power is lost. Also, the company is prepared to move workers
to hard-hit areas.

"Caring for our customers is Bell Atlantic's top priority -- we want
customers to know that we're ready," said Arnie Eckelman, Bell
Atlantic president and chief operating officer, consumer.

"While it is unclear where they will hit or how significant these
storms will be, 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

With much of the company's service area located along the Atlantic
Ocean, 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 locally and
throughout the world. All of these centers have backup batteries and/or
diesel generators for use in the event of a power outage.

"We have extensive safeguards and procedures in place to protect
our network during severe weather emergencies," said Ed Sproat,
Bell Atlantic president and chief executive officer for network services.
"We will continue to monitor the storms closely to ensure we have
sufficient workers on duty and in the right places to keep all our customers

The company also is notifying vendors who supply cable and other
equipment, asking them to be ready to provide supplies at a moment's

Bell Atlantic is at the forefront of the new communications and information industry.
With more than 43 million telephone access lines and nearly 10 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.