Where in the world is Santa Claus? That's a question millions of children ask on Christmas Eve.
On the big night, the answer will be only a toll-free call away. Verizon Business again is teaming with the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) to provide a special free hotline for children and their parents to speak with a volunteer at the famed military center.
Starting Dec. 24 at 2 a.m. Mountain time through 3 a.m. Mountain time on Dec. 25, children across the U.S. and Canada can call 1-877-HI-NORAD to determine Santa's exact location on Christmas Eve. (Callers outside North America can reach the NORAD Tracks Santa hotline by dialing the local Colorado Springs number at 719-556-5211 using the appropriate country code. International charges can apply.)
More than 1,200 volunteers, military personnel from Colorado Springs, their families and friends, and NORAD Tracks Santa corporate sponsor team members - including members from Verizon Business - will be continuously manning the NORAD Santa tracking hotline to ensure children know the whereabouts of Santa on Christmas Eve. In 2008, nearly 74,000 calls were answered at the NORAD Tracks Santa Operations Center at Peterson Air Force Base.
"For years, NORAD and Verizon have worked together to bring children of all ages a unique experience during the holiday season - live tracking of Santa along his yuletide journey," said Joyce Frankovis, the program project lead from NORAD. "While we've added many online bells and whistles since its inception, the Santa hotline is at the heart of our program, enabling children to talk to a live operator to find out Santa's whereabouts."
Children, their parents and the young-at-heart also can visit the NORAD Tracks Santa Web site (www.noradsanta.org), which provides real-time information on Santa's exact location. The information is available in English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Spanish and Chinese - complete with radar maps and streaming SantaCam video images documenting Santa's global journey.
This year, Santa also can be tracked through Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, and TroopTube.tv.
A Tradition for Half a Century
NORAD, the binational U.S. and Canadian military organization responsible for the aerospace defense of both countries, has tracked Santa around the globe on Christmas Eve for more than 50 years. The tradition started by accident in 1955 after a local newspaper misprint prompted children to call the Continental Air Defense Command (NORAD's predecessor) instead of a special Santa hotline phone number.
About Verizon Business
Verizon Business, a unit of Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ), is a global leader in communications and IT solutions. We combine professional expertise with one of the world's most connected IP networks to deliver award-winning communications, IT, information security and network solutions. We securely connect today's extended enterprises of widespread and mobile customers, partners, suppliers and employees - enabling them to increase productivity and efficiency and help preserve the environment. Many of the world's largest businesses and governments - including 96 percent of the Fortune 1000 and thousands of government agencies and educational institutions - rely on our professional and managed services and network technologies to accelerate their business. Find out more at www.verizonbusiness.com.