There’s work to be done.

By: Andy Choi

After Hurricane Ida slams Louisiana, we speak with V Teamers on the ground, share emergency relief for our customers and highlight how we can be there for each other.

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On today’s special edition of Up To Speed Live, host Andy Choi gave an update on the destructive path of Hurricane Ida, how the V Team is responding and ways that each of us can help.

Hurricane Ida’s landfall over the weekend as a Category 4 hurricane brought winds of up to 150 miles per hour, downing trees and power lines and leaving nearly a million people without power. While the storm continues today, our Verizon Response Team (VRT) is already on the ground, working tirelessly to keep fellow first responders connected and get service restored to our customers as soon as possible.

Storm prep

Over the weekend, Up To Speed’s Diana Alvear caught up with Network Field Engineer Chris Rigol, who shared how the VRT was preparing ahead of the storm, including the variety of mobile assets including temporary cell sites and portable generators that have been brought to southern Louisiana to be used as needed in the days and weeks ahead.

Calling, text and data relief

Diana also shared the news that Verizon is offering unlimited calling, text and data to our customers in the hardest hit areas in Ida’s path. To see if you are eligible, head to our emergency resource center. We will be updating the site regularly.

Verizon is also offering calling, text and data relief to customers impacted by the recent Tennessee floods.

Boots on the ground

Andy caught up with Duane Cross, one of our network engineers from Covington, LA. Duane said that the power was out at his home but that he had been able to make his way to one of our network sites where a temp cell site was already up and running. He said more crews were making their way into the area, despite multiple road closures.

Andy also checked in with Michael Stiebing, a Senior Trainer with our Learning and Development team based near New Orleans. His family evacuated while he stayed behind to care for their dogs. Today, he is out helping neighbors clean up from downed trees and urged all V Teamers to reach out to friends and teammates to make sure they’re ok. Michael says his neighborhood has been told they may not get power back for up to 21 days due to a major tower collapsing into the river.

Thanks to Michael and Duane for their efforts and sharing their updates with us.

Share your story

Andy shared dramatic images of storm damage from Mandeville, LA. Please share photos and updates and let us know how you’re doing, how we’re doing and how we can help by sending them to live@verizon.com.

Helping those in their time of need

We know that there are so many V Teamers in the path of the storm that are not only serving our customers the best that they can, but that are also in need of our help. We hope you all of our V Teamers take a moment and make a donation to our VtoV Employee Relief Fund.

If you have any questions, email them to live@verizon.com.

Click here for a transcript of the webcast.

Get the latest information on our Coronavirus Resource Page (Inside Verizon, The Street).

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