HOUSTON, TX — Verizon Wireless announced today that they have extended their participation in the Federal Communications Commission's Katrina Lifeline program by three months.
Verizon Wireless announced in November that they would be participating in the FCC-sponsored program to provide free wireless phones to qualified individuals impacted by Hurricane Katrina. Since the program was launched, Verizon Wireless has received inquiries from thousands of individuals and has provided free phones and service to many families impacted by the hurricane.
"Verizon Wireless is committed to helping residents who are enduring hardships and dislocation due to Hurricane Katrina to gain access to wireless communications while they seek to rebuild their lives," said Katherine Greene, president for the Verizon Wireless Gulf Coast region. "We are pleased to have been able to help so many families and individuals in need of wireless phones and hope to assist even more in the next three months."
Eligible customers will receive a prepaid, GPS-enabled handset with battery charger and a standard lithium ion battery, along with 300 minutes of prepaid service usable for 120 days from activation or when the 300 minutes are exhausted. The handset and prepaid service will be provided free-of-charge.
Customers have the option of purchasing additional prepaid minutes and services through Verizon Wireless' standard customer prepaid plans after activation of a Katrina Lifeline plan. If a customer purchases prepaid services under a Verizon Wireless standard prepaid plan, any unexpired Katrina Lifeline minutes will be applied to the standard plan.
The temporary Katrina Lifeline service will be provided to customers who meet the following eligibility requirements and submit a request prior to June 1, 2006:
- Customers must certify they were residents of counties in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as eligible for individual assistance related to Hurricane Katrina.
- Customers must certify that they are designated by FEMA as eligible for disaster housing assistance without repayment obligations and must attach a copy of their FEMA eligibility letter from the Individuals and Household Program (IHP) demonstrating their approval for disaster housing assistance.
- Customers must certify that they are the head of their household, and that their household is receiving only one Katrina Lifeline special support package.
- At the time the application is submitted, customers must reside in areas of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama or eastern Texas where Verizon Wireless provides service.
- Customers must submit an application for a Katrina Lifeline offering postmarked on or before June 1, 2006.
Qualifying counties and parishes include:
- Alabama Baldwin, Marengo, Mobile, Pickens, Greene, Hale, Tuscaloosa, and Washington counties.
- Louisiana Acadia, Ascension, Assumption, Calcasieu, Cameron, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Iberia, Iberville, Jefferson, Jefferson Davis, Lafayette, Lafourche, Lincoln, Livingston, Orleans, Pointe Coupee, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. Helena, St. James, St. John, St. Mary, St. Martin, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Terrebonne, Vermilion, Washington, West Baton Rouge, and West Feliciana counties.
- Mississippi Adams, Amite, Attala, Bolivar, Claiborne, Choctaw, Clarke, Copiah, Covington, Forrest, Franklin, George, Greene, Hancock, Harrison, Hinds, Holmes, Humphreys, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Jefferson Davis, Jones, Kemper, Lafayette, Lama, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Leake, Lincoln, Lowndes, Madison, Marion, Neshoba, Newton, Noxubee, Oktibbeha, Pearl River, Perry, Pike, Quitman, Rankin, Scott, Simpson, Smith, Stone, Tippah, Walthall, Warren, Wayne, Wilkinson, Winston, and Yazoo counties.
Customers meeting these criteria can call 1-866-442-7950 from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Central Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except holidays) to receive information on Verizon Wireless' Katrina Lifeline offering and to request a Katrina Lifeline application.
Customers must fill out an application attesting to the above terms and provide their previous residential address in the Katrina affected area, current address, social security number and the required certifications. The application must be post marked no later than June 1, 2006 and submitted to the Verizon Wireless centralized service center.
In the months following Hurricane Katrina, Verizon Wireless provided thousands of phones to relief organizations and government agencies to assist in recovery efforts. Immediately after the storm, Verizon Wireless established wireless emergency communication centers at shelters and Verizon Wireless stores to allow those impacted by the storm to place free calls and charge their phones.
About Verizon Wireless Verizon Wireless owns and operates the nation's most reliable wireless network, serving 51.3 million voice and data customers. Headquartered in Bedminster, NJ, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD). Find more information on the Web at 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.####