Hurricane Florence Network Updates
Update: September 19, 2018
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FINAL Network Update
Verizon’s engineers have been working 24x7 using planes, boats, and trucks to access network facilities and ensure communications in the Carolinas remains reliable for residents and first responders. The network is currently over 99% in service.
Verizon continues to support government officials and first responders with ongoing recovery efforts throughout North Carolina. We have deployed mobile cell sites to the Wilmington Police Department, Jacksonville Emergency Operations Center, Lumberton Emergency Operations Center, Newport Police Department, Carthage Police Department, FEMA office in Charleston, W.V., Atlantic Beach Emergency Operations Center, Whiteville Emergency Operations Center and Swansboro Police Department and local shelter. We have also deployed indoor cell sites (called eFemtos) to the Jacksonville Emergency Command Center, FEMA Kinston office, and the City of Goose Creek. We have additional mobile assets in route to New Hanover County Emergency Operations Center in Wilmington, the town of Newport, downtown Fayetteville, a Red Cross shelter in Hope Hill and to Richlands Emergency Operations Center.
Additionally, Big Red, a big rig equipped with connectivity and 24 mobile workstations, is headed to the New Hanover Base Camp in Wilmington to support the recovery efforts being managed from that location.
All but two of our stores in the impacted areas are open for business and our local teams are ready to serve our customers and the community. Residents are invited to come in and charge their devices, regardless of their wireless provider. Our Whiteville and Mayfair/Wilmington locations experienced damage from the storm and will be reopened as soon as it's safe to do so. Visit our Store Locator for more information.
Additionally, a Wireless Emergency Communication Center (WECC) is on site our Lumberton store. WECCs are generator-powered mobile units that have device charging, computer workstations and wireless phones, tablets and other devices to contact friends, family and other important contacts over the Verizon Wireless 4G LTE network. Our Wilmington Call Center is open as a recovery center for our employees, where they can charge their devices, get hot meals and take hot showers.
To support those who have evacuated the hardest hit areas, Verizon volunteers are staffing charging stations at the American Red Cross mega-shelters in Chapel Hill and Winston-Salem. We have additional charging stations ready to be deployed to other shelters as those needs are identified.
We have extended our initial data relief offer for those customers in the hardest hit areas of North Carolina through September 25, 2018, and the Verizon Foundation has announced a $1 million grant to the American Red Cross to assist in relief efforts.
Verizon Wireless customers can also join the relief and recovery effort by contributing support to help those affected by Hurricane Florence. Verizon Wireless customers can use their mobile phone to make tax deductible donations in increments of $10, up $100 per customer, to the American Red Cross and other charitable organizations, which are responding to the needs of individuals and communities affected by the storm. Customers can make a $10 donation by simply texting to the organizations' designated short code and keyword:
- American Red Cross – 90999/Florence
- GlobalGiving – 80100/Florence
- CTA for the North Carolina Disaster Relief Fund – 20222/Florence
- United Way Association South Carolina – 501501/Florence
- The Humane Society of the United States – 20222/Love
- Save the Children – 20222/Hurricane (*$25 minimum donation)
September 17, 4:00 PM
- Verizon is extending its initial data relief offer for those customers in the hardest hit areas of North Carolina through September 25, 2018.
- Verizon’s network continues to withstand the severity of the storm’s impact with nearly 99% of our facilities in the Carolinas in service. Many of those cell sites are running on backup power as designed for reliability, and massive refueling operations are underway to ensure those sites without commercial power continue in service for our customers and first responders.
- Repairs to impacted network facilities are well underway, and in many cases are already complete.
Community and First Responder Support:
We continue to reopen stores in the impacted areas to serve our customers and the community. Residents are invited to come in and charge their devices, regardless of their wireless provider. Starting tomorrow, Tuesday, September 18, all but three of our stores in the hardest hit areas will be open for business. The three Wilmington area stores that remain closed will be assessed for damage as soon as access to the area improves and then reopened as soon as possible. Visit our Store Locator for more information.
- We are in contact with federal, state and local emergency management teams and are coordinating communication needs and efforts with them. Mobile cell sites have been activated in many of the hardest hit areas in Eastern North Carolina including at first responders’ Emergency Operations Centers and local shelters for residents who have been displaced.
- We have deployed mobile cell sites with satellite backhaul to the Wilmington Police Department, Jacksonville Emergency Operations Center, Lumberton Emergency Operations Center, Newport Police Department, Carthage Police Department, FEMA office in Charleston, W.V., and Swansboro Police Department and local shelter.
- We have also deployed indoor cell sites (called eFemtos) to the Jacksonville Emergency Command Center, FEMA Kinston office, and the City of Goose Creek.
September 16, 7:00 PM
- With Hurricane Florence downgraded to a tropical depression, Verizon network crews are beginning recovery efforts in impacted areas. Those efforts have already begun in earnest throughout parts of North Carolina and South Carolina.
- As winds lessen and rain moves out, we are assessing damage and have mobilized equipment and people needed for repairs. We have an aerial cell site on standby to provide LTE service from the air and teams of drone pilots on standby to survey sites and assess damage in the near future.
- With widespread power outages, 97% of our cell sites in the Carolinas are operating thanks to generators and batteries permanently installed in our sites for backup and reliability. Refueling operations have begun and will expand as it’s safe to access our facilities to ensure those towers remain in service.
- Engineers and mobile assets have been moved in large numbers south of Wilmington and Jacksonville, the hardest hit areas, to help with recovery efforts including fleets of mobile generators that will be deployed as needed across our network.
Community and First Responder Support:
We have started to reopen stores in the impacted areas to serve our customers and will continue to do so in the coming days. Visit our Store Locator for more information. As the storm moves out of each area, we are assessing our locations for damage and will be opening for business to serve our residents in these communities as soon as conditions make it possible.
Our network team is staffing our command center 24x7 and is in contact with federal, state and local emergency management teams to coordinate communication needs and efforts with them.
September 14, 1:00 PM
With Hurricane Florence hanging over the Carolinas, Verizon’s network continues to withstand the severity of the storm’s impact. As anticipated, flood waters and strong winds are impacting the area and commercial power is out throughout much of the Carolinas, but back-up generators are running where needed and we are on standby to refuel generators to ensure facilities continue operating as soon as the storm rolls through.
Our network teams are staffing the 24x7 wireless command centers in hardened facilities throughout the impacted area that can withstand category five winds. They are assessing damage and preparing to mobilize equipment and people needed for repairs when safe to do so. We are in contact with federal, state and local emergency management teams and are coordinating communication needs and efforts with them.
To further support the community, Verizon is offering support to impacted residents by providing free calling, texting and data to our postpaid and prepaid customers who reside in the areas of Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia that are in the direct path of the storm, beginning today and running through , September 17, and has also committed to $1 million grant to the American Red Cross to assist in relief efforts.
Additionally, between September 12, 2018 and September 28, 2018, the Verizon Foundation will match all U.S.-based Verizon employees' donations of $25 or more made via the Verizon Foundation matching gift webpage, up to $1,000 per employee, to the American Red Cross.
Once the storm has passed, Verizon is ready to deploy our Wireless Emergency Communication Centers which are generator-powered mobile units on tractor trailers that have device charging and computer workstations, and wireless phones, tablets and other devices to contact friends, family and other important contacts over the Verizon Wireless 4G LTE network.