Verizon employees are making substantial progress in restoring voice and data communications, Internet and TV service to consumers, business and government clients following Hurricane Sandy's multi-day assault on the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast.
Meanwhile, customers are able to charge their devices at many Verizon FiOS and Verizon Wireless stores, as well as several mobile stores-on-wheels, in the hard-hit New Jersey and New York areas.
Working round-the-clock since historic flooding Monday night (Oct. 29), Verizon engineers and technicians have restored backup power to four critical facilities in lower Manhattan and one on Long Island that incurred severe flood damage and lost commercial power, including the company's headquarters at 140 West St. These facilities provide phone, Internet and TV services for consumers and small businesses in the area, as well as sophisticated cloud and data communications for financial services, other enterprises and government agencies. (Click here for B-Roll footage of work at Verizon's 140 West Street facilities.)
Verizon continues efforts to restore backup power to several other critical switching facilities in lower Manhattan and Queens.
(NOTE: To view a video of Verizon’s restoration efforts, click here.)
Fuel and Power Critical to Restoration Efforts
The availability of fuel to keep generators delivering backup power to switching facilities and other critical network equipment is an increasing challenge in hard-hit areas such as New Jersey and New York. Verizon is working with federal, state and local government officials to obtain the fuel crucial to maintaining communications and Internet access.
The company also is coordinating with commercial power companies and local authorities to resolve restoral challenges brought by downed power lines, trees and other debris; closed roads; persistently high water; and several feet of snow in some areas of the region affected by Sandy.
(NOTE: Verizon Wireline customers can receive updates at www.verizon.com/outage.)
Verizon technicians are fanned out across the region to assess and repair damaged infrastructure, replacing broken utility poles, repairing fiber-optic and copper cable, and changing water-damaged electronics.
"Thousands of our dedicated employees are bringing customers' services back across the affected area," said Bob Mudge, president of Verizon's Consumer and Mass Business division. "Unfortunately, the extent of the storm damage - including lingering power outages and inaccessible roadways - in harder-hit areas like New Jersey and the New York City metro area makes full restoration a marathon and not a sprint.
"We encourage people to stay safe as they inspect and repair damage to their homes and businesses. We also ask for customers' patience and understanding as our employees, who often are their friends and neighbors, work hard to reconnect them," said Mudge.
Verizon has a full force of technicians, engineers and customer-service representatives who are staffing repair centers, switching offices, data facilities and other customer-assistance operations to serve customers. Verizon national and regional command and control centers remain in operation, and Verizon is in close touch with power and other service providers, local government officials and others to ensure proper coordination of restoral efforts.
Emergency communications such as 911 service have fared well from Virginia through Massachusetts. Verizon has been in close contact with 911 center directors to keep them updated and to respond quickly to any issues they have encountered.
In addition, Verizon has deployed several vehicles from its disaster recovery fleet to the New York metro area to assist emergency responders. (Click here to view Verizon's disaster recovery fleet.)
Verizon also is providing free charging of cell phones, smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices at its FiOS stores in New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Massachusetts. For a list of store locations, visit http://www22.verizon.com/home/storelocator/. Consumers should be sure to bring their own chargers and call ahead to check whether the store is open.
Customers can contact Verizon online at www.verizon.com/outage to report any wireline service-related issues; or call 1-800-VERIZON (1-800-837-4966). Please note that hold times will be longer than normal due to higher calling volumes.
Verizon Enterprise Solutions Meeting Clients' Needs after Sandy
Verizon Enterprise Solutions is working with government agencies, power companies and other recovery organizations and collaborating with its clients in the health care, energy, utilities and transportation sectors to identify critical issues to ensure a return to normalcy.
In many areas in the impact zone, Verizon Enterprise Solutions is enabling clients' business continuity plans, operating with wireless backup and additional equipment to those in the government and financial sectors. Cloud and data centers operated by Verizon and Verizon Terremark - which the companies' clients rely on to help them protect, manage and monitor their IT infrastructure and data - performed particularly well through the storm, and service was unaffected. All facilities have remained operational, and employees are working closely with utility companies to ensure commercial power supplies. Verizon continues to provide critical support to clients in and around the affected storm areas and is making some progress on multiple fronts.
Business clients can access information and communicate directly with the company through the Verizon Enterprise Center (VEC). Another option to access account information is via VEC Mobile (with or without an account login to the VEC) using a smartphone and/or a tablet. Clients can view, update and create repair tickets, and log in to view a ticket summary. Users also have the option of simple and expanded views on their smartphones and can set their preferences to save entries for next time.
Regular news updates from Verizon Enterprise Solutions are located at www.verizonbusiness.com/info/hurricane.
Verizon Wireless Offering Device Charging, Computer Work Stations
Verizon Wireless has deployed Wireless Emergency Communication Centers (WECCs), at Monmouth University in New Jersey, and at two locations in Toms River N.J. WECCs offer public access to device-charging and computer work stations, as well as wireless phones and other devices to make free phone calls, recharge their personal cell phones regardless of the wireless provider, and access the Internet using the company's Mobile Broadband service. The company has also set up mobile stores-on-wheels that serve as fully functioning Verizon Wireless Communications Stores in place at locations in Sea Girt and Howell, N.J.
Verizon Wireless is offering device charging and free domestic phone calls to local residents at all of its open store locations. The company continues to reopen stores throughout the area and is increasing device and accessory inventories at stores to meet the needs of its customers.
The company has seen continued improvement overnight at cell sites serving customers in the impacted area, including some of the hardest-hit areas of the Northeast. Verizon Wireless continues to deploy its mobile disaster recovery and emergency network assets, including cell sites on wheels and mobile generators, to fortify its network throughout the Northeast where telecommunications infrastructure, power and flood damage are issues.
Verizon Foundation Doubles Match of Employee Donations to American Red Cross, Salvation Army
To help provide immediate relief to those impacted by Hurricane Sandy, the Verizon Foundation has donated $100,000 to the American Red Cross. Verizon also is matching employee donations to the American Red Cross and Salvation Army, two-for-one (up to $1,000 per employee). In other words, for every dollar a Verizon employee donates, the foundation will match $2.
Verizon Wireless customers are demonstrating their generosity and support to Hurricane Sandy relief efforts by texting their donations through a text-to-donation campaign. Since the company announced its support of the text-to-donate campaign, Verizon customers have generously donated more than $230,000. Verizon Wireless customers can still make a $10 donation to any of the organizations listed below:
- REDCROSS to 90999 to support the American Red Cross
- STORM to 80888 to give to the Salvation Army
- HUMANE to 80888 for the American Humane Association
- UWHC to 52000 to the United Way of Hudson County, N.J.
Customers who would like to give more can donate up to five times their original donation through this texting option. For example, customers making a $10 donation can give up to $50. Text-messaging fees will be waived, and 100 percent of each donation goes directly to the listed organizations.
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, Nasdaq: VZ), headquartered in New York, is a global leader in delivering broadband and other wireless and wireline communications services to consumer, business, government and wholesale customers. Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, with nearly 96 million retail customers nationwide. Verizon also provides converged communications, information and entertainment services over America's most advanced fiber-optic network, and delivers integrated business solutions to customers in more than 150 countries, including all of the Fortune 500. A Dow 30 company with $111 billion in 2011 revenues, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of 184,500. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.