09/28/2022 Updated on  10/10/2022|Public Safety|Emergency Response

Verizon Responds to Hurricane Ian

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Andrew Testa
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Karen Schulz
864-561-1527

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10/10/22 Morning Update

Images of Hurricane Ian restoration efforts.

Verizon engineers are continuing their efforts this week to add capacity to the network to support the tremendous data usage increase we’re seeing compared to pre-storm levels. The influx of recovery teams to the area, coupled with customers using wireless service while their home internet service is out, has increased data traffic on the network by more than 70% in some locations.

Engineers continue to add 5G service using C-band spectrum, repair radio heads and realign antennas which will help optimize network performance. Teams are also continuing to increase the capacity and stability of the satellite, fiber and microwave links that connect cell sites back to the rest of the network so those sites can manage more data traffic. Lastly, engineers continue to deploy additional mobile cell sites to supplement coverage and capacity in extremely busy areas of Southwest Florida.

At Centennial Park, a Mid-Earth Orbit satellite system with backhaul provided by SES satellites is connecting a mobile cell site providing wireless service to teams at the staging area. Additionally Verizon’s Tactical Humanitarian Operations Response (THOR) vehicle is deployed there and Big Red, a large asset vehicle complete with work stations, charging stations and wifi connectivity will be on site and active today. At Lee County Civic Center, an additional satellite backed mobile cell site with a system provided by SES is being deployed today to provide additional capacity. In total, 47 mobile assets are in place throughout Southwest Florida to provide coverage and capacity for residents and those helping with recovery efforts.

With nearly 100 sites still on generators awaiting commercial power restoration, our refueling operation continues. Propane and diesel trucks are continuously running to ensure these sites remain in service. 

Verizon also has Wireless Emergency Communication Centers in the area providing charging, free wifi and free portable power packs for any member of the community on any carrier. They can be found at the following locations:

  • Port Charlotte Town Center Mall, 1441 Tamiami Trail, Port Charlotte, FL (open daily 10:00am - 6:00pm)

  • 2525 Estero Blvd, Fort Myers Beach, FL (open daily 8:00am - 5:00pm)

As residents of Southwest Florida continue to recover, Verizon is extending its support for counties most impacted by Hurricane Ian including Charlotte, Collier, Desoto, Hardee, Lee, and Sarasota. Consumer and small business customers* in these counties will continue to receive unlimited calling, texting and mobile data through October 31, 2022.

There is a very long road ahead for recovery and rebuilding work in Southwest Florida, and Verizon’s team will be on the ground with Floridians until that hard work is complete. 


10/9/22 Morning Update

Images of Hurricane Ian restoration efforts.

Network Update 

In addition to continuing to add capacity to the network to support the tremendous data usage increase we’re seeing compared to pre-storm levels, today our teams are working to optimize performance on the network. Teams are replacing broken antennas and radios, building in redundant connectivity paths for sites to connect to the rest of the network, and ensuring our generators providing power to network equipment remain operative and fueled.

In addition, today Verizon engineers deployed a mobile cell site to support Charlotte Health Department’s temporary pharmacy as well as a Mid-Earth Orbit satellite connected cell site and Verizon’s Tactical Humanitarian Operations Response (THOR) vehicle to the Centennial staging area. Big Red, a large asset vehicle complete with work stations, charging stations and wifi connectivity will be on site at that staging area tomorrow.


10/8/22 Morning Update

Images of Hurricane Ian restoration efforts.

Network Update 

With thousands of additional people pouring into Southwest Florida to help with recovery efforts, Verizon engineers are heavily focused on increasing the capacity of the network and optimizing the network for strong performance.

Where possible, Verizon engineers are adding 5G Ultra Wideband service using C-band spectrum to critical cell sites throughout Southwest Florida to provide greater capacity for first responders, public safety officials, debris removal and construction teams and residents connecting to loved ones and critical resources. 5G on C-band provides a huge superhighway for wireless data to travel on which will assist Floridians starting the long road to recovery as well as countless emergency workers and volunteers coming into the markets from across the US who will need this extra bandwidth and speed. 5G Ultra Wideband is ideally designed to provide additional wireless speed and capacity for situations like this.

During high winds like we experienced during Hurricane Ian, antennas and cables can be displaced and radio ports can be damaged causing a cell site’s performance to diminish yet remain in service. Engineers are completing site surveys on sites that are in service but may not be performing optimally and are actively repairing and replacing radios, antennas, cabinets, and cables as needed to increase capacity and provide higher levels of performance.

Additionally, Verizon engineers are working on building in redundancy and protection for sites in especially hard hit areas like the barrier islands where earth movers and other debris clearing work is beginning in earnest. When that work is underway, fiber cables, which connect cell sites to the rest of the network, can be cut causing sites to go out of service. Our engineers are working to design and deploy microwave airlink connections in addition to fiber connections at many cell sites so that if physical damage to fiber is incurred, a site can maintain service until that fiber can be repaired.

Verizon team members are also supporting the Centennial Park gathering area for recovery workers by deploying mobile assets and support vehicles to help manage connectivity for an expected 1,500+ people. Verizon’s Mid-Earth Orbit mobile cell site, Verizon’s Tactical Humanitarian Operations Response (THOR) vehicle, and Big Red – a large asset vehicle complete with work stations, charging stations and wifi connectivity - will be onsite to provide support. Additionally, Verizon will be deploying additional fiber-backed capacity on the macro network serving this area. 


10/7/22 Evening Update

Verizon extends customer offer to Florida counties hardest hit by Hurricane Ian through Oct. 31

FORT MYERS, FL – As residents of Southwest Florida continue to recover, Verizon is extending its support for counties most impacted by Hurricane Ian. Consumer and small business customers* in the following counties will continue to receive unlimited calling, texting and mobile data through October 31, 2022:

  • Charlotte
  • Collier
  • Desoto
  • Hardee
  • Lee
  • Sarasota

Customers do not have to take any action to take advantage of the offer and can verify eligibility for call/text/data relief by entering their zip code here: https://www.verizon.com/featured/relief/.

We will continue to monitor and evaluate the counties included in this offer.


10/7/22 Morning Update

Images of Hurricane Ian restoration efforts.

Network Update

As thousands of people pour into Florida to assist with Hurricane Ian clean-up and restoration efforts, Verizon is seeing drastic increases in usage on our network compared to pre-storm levels. In some of the hardest hit areas in Southwest Florida, we are seeing data usage increase more than 50% above pre-storm levels.

Verizon engineers and vendor crews are working around the clock to ensure residents, first responders and now clean up and restoration crews have the connectivity they need. On highly critical hub locations (where equipment feeds multiple sites) we have worked with power companies to prioritize restoration of commercial power and have taken the extra step of adding additional layers of power back-up for redundancy.

To improve both network stability and increase capacity on the network, our fiber and microwave teams are working around the clock moving temporary fiber and satellite connections onto more permanent fiber and microwave links.

Centennial Park – Centennial Park has been designated as a primary gathering and staging area expecting 1,500 people daily. Our engineers are working to set up a portable cell tower using fiber connection back to the network to serve the additional capacity that will result from that large number of people gathering.

Boca Grande – In the Boca Grande community where a tower was destroyed, a temporary mobile cell site is being deployed today that will be connected to the rest of the network with a microwave link. In the coming days, engineers will add 5G using C-band spectrum to that asset to greatly increase the number of calls and amount of data it can process.

Pine, Sanibel and Ft. Myers Beach: On the islands, temporary mobile cell sites and satellite links connecting cell sites to the rest of the network are providing service to Pine Island and Sanibel. The tethered drone that provides coverage from the air is flying in the south of Pine Island. On Ft. Myers Beach we have been constantly refueling the satellite-based mobile assets we have in place up and down the coastline to provide service there. To increase capacity and offer stability of service to the islands, our engineers have designed cell site connectivity projects using both microwave and fiber simultaneously so that if fiber is cut during restoration efforts those towers will still be able to process data-rich connections.

Orlando, Tampa and other areas outside of Southwest Florida: Sites that did not lose service in the storm still may have sustained damage to antennas and other equipment degrading performance on the site. Teams of engineers are moving site by site determining what repairs are needed to sites in service to maximize performance. Engineers have begun installing new radio heads, cabinets, cabling and other equipment as needed in the base stations connected to our towers. Tower climbing crews have been realigning and replacing antennas, and debris cleaning crews have been clearing the land in and around our towers. This work will help manage the increased capacity we are seeing throughout Florida and will improve speed and throughput for customers using data-rich applications and streaming content.

We continue to stay in very close communication with local and state EOCs to coordinate our response to Hurricane Ian including where we deploy mobile assets, when we move cell sites from temporary to permanent connections and how and when we access our locations in areas where access is still somewhat limited.


10/6/22 Morning Update

Images of Hurricane Ian restoration efforts.

Network Update 

Verizon’s primary goal in the immediate aftermath of the storm was to restore basic connectivity so residents and first responders could connect with the critical resources they needed. Engineers have now begun the work to stabilize and optimize the network so customers can again use more robust features such as content streaming and video calling.

Power: Engineers are coordinating key priority facilities with the power companies to move from generator power to more stable commercial power. They are also moving in backup temp generators for generators that have been running for days and ensuring our massive refueling operations continue in earnest.

Backhaul: Backhaul dictates how much capacity we have on individual cell sites. With countless recovery teams pouring into Florida, Verizon engineers are seeing significantly more network traffic than pre-storm levels. Increased traffic coupled with a handful of sites being temporarily served by satellite links (which have far less capacity than fiber) may result in customers experiencing slower than usual performance.

Our team is focused on restoring fiber links where possible, and where it is not possible to restore fiber for a longer time, our team is working on creating microwave backhaul solutions which are air links that will provide greater capacity than the temporary satellite connections.

Optimization: In addition to working multiple paths to increase the capacity of our network, engineers are also working on cell site repairs such as realigning antennas, replacing broken radio heads, and replacing damaged cables to optimize performance on the network. Our team has completed hundreds of site surveys and dispatched massive amounts of new equipment to replace and update damaged site equipment.

Pine, Sanibel and Ft. Myers Beach: Specific to the islands in Southwest Florida, teams worked overnight and there is now service on Pine Island and improved service on Sanibel Island and Ft. Myers Beach. Throughout the day today and into tomorrow, microwave teams will be working to increase the capacity and performance of sites serving those areas while fiber teams work in parallel to pull temporary fiber connections from the mainland. Verizon’s mobile assets will remain in place on the islands to supplement service while these more permanent solutions are being put into place.


10/5/22 Morning Update

Images of Hurricane Ian restoration efforts.

Network Update 

Network teams worked throughout the night turning up sites and placing temporary assets for supplemental coverage while permanent cell sites are repaired. 

While many sites are on air, they are being connected via satellite links. Satellite links have far less capacity than the fiber we typically use for connecting our cell sites to the rest of the network, so customers may experience slower speeds and capacity constraints. Engineers are going site by site to repair or hang temporary fiber and move those sites connected with satellite links back to a more substantive connection link.

Sites that did not lose service in the storm still may have sustained damage to antennas and other equipment degrading performance on the site. Teams of engineers are moving site by site and tower climbing crews are promptly repairing those issues to maximize performance.

A few sites, including one near Boca Grande have sustained very significant structural damage including loss of towers, massive flooding of base station equipment and physical damage to the buildings at the bases of towers. Temporary towers are being erected in some locations. In others, new equipment is being shipped in and installed. The land surrounding one site in Volusia County was completely washed away, so crews worked overnight to build a temporary bridge to be able to move new equipment to that tower.

Ft. Myers Beach, sanibel Island, Pine Isalnd

On Ft. Myers Beach, fiber and power are still out, however Verizon engineers have filled the beach with temporary assets to provide service until permanent sites can be rebuilt or restored. Verizon engineers have deployed two mobile cell sites, two small cells, and two satellite links to provide service to that area. Verizon’s Wireless Emergency Communications Center is also set up on Ft. Myers Beach, compete with charging stations and internet connected workstations, for customers to access assistance if needed.

On Sanibel Island, engineers moved equipment via a barge yesterday and were able to restore service using satellite backhaul to a cell site on the island. Additionally those teams deployed a couple of mobile cell sites to supplement coverage on Sanibel.

Teams are heading to Pine Island today with equipment, satellite links and mobile cell sites to restore temporary service to that island. 

Sanibel Island, Pine Island and Ft. Myers have several sites that will need to be fully rebuilt after the storm, but our engineers will maintain temporary equipment in place until those rebuilds can be completed.

Our teams continue to coordinate with county EOCs, state officials, first responders and public safety teams to prioritize restoration and optimization efforts. Our teams are also closely coordinating with fiber restoration teams, utility providers and debris clearing teams on the ground to ensure additional damage is not sustained while restoration efforts are underway.

Verizon Frontline Update

The Verizon Frontline Crisis Response Team remains deployed across Florida to provide mission-critical communications support to public safety agencies responding to Hurricane Ian at no cost to the supported agencies.

The team is in contact with federal, state and local emergency management teams and is coordinating communication needs and efforts with more than 70 public safety agencies operating in the region. The Verizon Frontline Crisis Response Team has now deployed more than 409 Verizon Frontline solutions including drones, smartphones, routers, mobile hotspots, and portable satellite assets in support of emergency response operations in the region.

The Verizon Frontline Crisis Response Team provides on-demand, emergency assistance during crisis situations to government agencies and emergency responders on a 24/7 basis.


10/4/22 Morning Update

Images of Hurricane Ian restoration efforts.

Community Support Update

As residents of Southwest Florida continue to recover, Verizon is extending its support for counties most impacted by Hurricane Ian. Consumer and small business customers* in the following counties will continue to receive unlimited calling, texting and data through October 11, 2022:

  • Charlotte

  • Collier

  • Desoto

  • Hardee

  • Lee

  • Sarasota

Customers do not have to take any action to take advantage of the offer and can verify eligibility for call/text/data relief by entering their zip code here: https://www.verizon.com/featured/relief/.

We will continue to monitor and evaluate the counties included in this offer.

* Verizon small business customers include customers with 50 lines or less.

Wireless Emergency Communication Centers providing free charging, wifi and portable power packs to the community

Verizon also has Wireless Emergency Communication Centers in the area providing charging, free wifi and free portable power packs for any member of the community on any carrier. They can be found at the following locations:

  • Port Charlotte Town Center Mall, 1441 Tamiami Trail, Port Charlotte, FL (open daily 10:00am - 6:00pm)

  • 2525 Estero Blvd, Fort Myers Beach, FL (open daily 8:00am - 5:00pm)

Network Update

Network restoration and recovery work continues today. With most of North Florida fully served, our teams in counties north of Polk, Osceola and Hillsborough counties today are focused primarily on cell site optimization work, cleaning up debris, tilting antennas for optimum coverage, and refueling permanent and portable generators to ensure service remains on for customers and recovery crews in those areas. 

In Charlotte, DeSoto and Sarasota counties, additional satellite and temporary assets being moved in to bring the final few sites we can access into service. Our engineers today are continuing to move sites from temporary satellite connection (which connects our cell sites to the rest of the network) to more permanent connection by restoring fiber cables. We will also continue our massive refueling efforts to keep our generators running.

In Southwest Florida, our engineers continue to gain access to cell sites in areas heavily impacted and where access has been restricted because of flooding or heavy debris. On Sanibel Island, Pine Island and Ft. Myers beach, fiber has been destroyed and commercial power remains out. Yesterday, Verizon engineers were able to restore one cell site on Sanibel using satellite connections and portable generators. Teams will work today to do the same on Pine Island as well as move some additional mobile cell sites into place to help provide service to those islands. On Ft. Myers Beach, additional mobile assets will arrive to supplement service later this morning.

Engineers have completed preliminary designs to serve those islands for an interim period with microwave instead of fiber or satellite. Microwave connection does not require cables and provides greater capacity than satellite links. Those plans are underway with a restoration ETA of the end of the week. In the meantime, satellite assets and mobile cell sites will provide temporary support for those areas.

Our network Emergency Response Team continues to stay in extremely close contact with local and state EOCs, search and recovery teams, power and telco vendors to ensure alignment with regional priorities and to offer all the support we can to the communities that have been so drastically impacted by this storm.

Verizon Frontline Update

The Verizon Frontline Crisis Response Team remains deployed across Florida to provide mission-critical communications support to public safety agencies responding to Hurricane Ian at no cost to the supported agencies.

The team is in contact with federal, state and local emergency management teams and is coordinating communication needs and efforts with more than 60 public safety agencies operating in the region. The Verizon Frontline Crisis Response Team has now deployed more than 360 Verizon Frontline solutions including drones, smartphones, routers, mobile hotspots, and portable satellite assets in support of emergency response operations in the region.

The Verizon Frontline Crisis Response Team provides on-demand, emergency assistance during crisis situations to government agencies and emergency responders on a 24/7 basis.


10/3/22 Afternoon Update

Images of Hurricane Ian restoration efforts.

Community Support Update

To help victims of Hurricane Ian stay connected to family, friends and other important contacts, Verizon has deployed Wireless Emergency Communication Centers (WECC) in areas of Southwestern Florida impacted by the storm.

Wireless Emergency Communication Centers are generator-powered mobile units that have device charging and computer workstations, along with wireless phones, tablets and other devices to contact friends, family and other important contacts over Verizon’s network. WECCs have been deployed to the following locations:

  • Port Charlotte Town Center Mall, 1441 Tamiami Trail, Port Charlotte, FL (open daily 10:00am - 6:00pm)

  • 2525 Estero Blvd, Fort Myers Beach, FL (open beginning Oct 4. 8:00am - 5:00pm)

The WECCs will be open daily with teams of technicians available to troubleshoot and charge up wireless phone batteries that survived the storm and/or have lost power and will provide wifi to help any customer of any carrier stay connected.

Network Update

Today’s restoration efforts will focus on maintenance and repair for generators that have been running for days, keeping massive refueling operations in process to fuel permanent and temporary cell sites, running temporary fiber which connect our cell sites to the rest of our network and mobilizing additional satellite backed mobile cell sites, mobile towers and other temporary equipment to restore service in areas where there are still small areas with spotty coverage and/or capacity issues to enhance service for residents, first responders and recovery teams.

During high winds, antennas and cables can be displaced causing a cell site’s performance to diminish yet remain in service. Engineers will begin optimizing those cell sites in service today to increase capacity and provide higher levels of performance for people who are in coverage areas.

In the hardest hit areas of Southwest Florida, aggressive efforts are being made to restore service for search and recovery teams.

Pine Island – Our engineers were able to gain access to Pine Island late yesterday and completed site surveys there. While it does not appear there was significant structural damage to the towers, fiber and power are both lacking on the island, so engineers are working with the county to formulate a plan to send satellite backhaul and portable generators to get those sites back in service.

Sanibel Island – Verizon engineers are currently on a barge with a mobile cell site heading to Sanibel Island. We anticipatie mobile cell site will be on air today providing some coverage to search and recovery teams working there.

Ft Myers Beach to Bonita Springs – Verizon engineers were able to gain very limited access to this beachfront area yesterday. The fiber and power are both lacking in these communities and access is still extremely limited. A Mid-Earth orbit backed satellite mobile cell site is providing service from Ft. Myers Beach.

Verizon Frontline Update

The Verizon Frontline Crisis Response Team remains deployed across Florida to provide mission-critical communications support to public safety agencies responding to Hurricane Ian at no cost to the supported agencies.

The team is in contact with federal, state and local emergency management teams and is coordinating communication needs and efforts with nearly 60 public safety agencies operating in the region. The Verizon Frontline Crisis Response Team has now deployed more than 300 Verizon Frontline solutions including drones, smartphones, routers, mobile hotspots, and portable satellite assets in support of emergency response operations in the region.

The Verizon Frontline Crisis Response Team provides on-demand, emergency assistance during crisis situations to government agencies and emergency responders on a 24/7 basis.


10/2/22 Afternoon Update

Images of Hurricane Ian restoration efforts.

Network Update

Throughout the day, Verizon engineers have been orchestrating massive refueling efforts, completing site surveys of impaired cell sites, moving portable generators and mobile cell towers where needed and working repairs at numerous sites throughout the impacted areas of Florida. As flood waters begin receding our engineers have been able to access areas previously inaccessible until now. Tower crews have started repairing antennas displaced by heavy winds and satellite backed assets are providing connectivity where fiber has been damaged or destroyed. Engineers will continue repair work in earnest throughout the evening and into the night.

We currently have 13 mobile cell sites deployed and six mobile satellite links powering cell sites with broken fiber. We have assets en route to North Point, Englewood and East of Pine Island.

We remain in contact with federal, state and local emergency management teams and are coordinating communication needs and efforts with them. We are partnering directly with the state and local EOCs on restoration priorities and community needs. Ten mobile cell sites have been deployed to help connect first responders in Emergency Operation Centers and Forward Command Centers. The large mobile cell site that has been deployed in the Ft. Myers Beach area will be moved today to make way for emergency vehicles conducting earth moving and repair work on the beach.

Specific community information and activities can be found below:

  • In Sarasota, we have two cell sites with generators that have failed. Electricians have been dispatched. We also have one cell site which is flooded and will have a longer recovery time.

  • In Desoto County, we have a portable generator in route and refueling en route to bring up the last two cell sites in that county.

  • In Highlands County, we have just gained access to several cell sites having been delayed by flooding. Engineers are on site accessing the needs for those towers. Needs we have uncovered so far include fiber repairs and portable generators which are being deployed.

  • In Charlotte County we have just gained access to several cell sites having been delayed by flooding, so techs are at those locations completing site surveys. For sites we have access to, generators are needed and are being deployed and/or repaired.

  • Engineers were able to access Ft Myers Beach south to and Bonita Beach today. The sites near Bonita beach need power, so generators are being moved into place. Northward toward Ft. Meyers Beach, however, severe structural damage will cause a longer recovery timeline. In the meantime engineers are evaluating moving mobile towers into place there. 

  • Sanibel and Pine Islands still have limited access. Engineers are working to access the islands and complete site surveys. In the meantime, a tethered drone carrying a cell site is providing service from the air to a 5-7 mile radius around Sanibel Island and the southern part of Pine Island. Verizon engineers are simultaneously working to get additional satellite based assets on those islands and beaches to speed restoration activities. 

  • Farther inward in Lee County, a few sites experienced significant damage and will need structures rebuilt and other equipment replaced.

  • In Orange and Osceola counties, we have four sites that were severely flooded. Two sites will have longer repair timelines due to significant structural damage and two have power issues which are currently being addressed by technicians on scene.

  • Lastly in Volusia County we have one site we’ve been unable to access due to flooding. Engineers are waiting for flood waters to recede and will complete site assessments and begin repairs as soon as possible.

Tomorrow, we will have multiple Wireless Emergency Communications Center set up and available for community members to stop in, use the internet, charge their phones and receive communication support. We will also set up charging stations for customers who need access to power and chargers. Locations for those will be updated in the morning.


10/2/22 Morning Update

Images of Hurricane Ian restoration efforts.

Network Update

Verizon engineers are working with fuel vendors to continue our massive refueling efforts keeping permanent and portable generators powering our cell sites up and running.

Fiber, which connects cell sites to the rest of the network, has been broken in some places throughout Southwest Florida including Charlotte, Lee and Collier counties. Teams of engineers are moving mobile satellite links into place to provide temporary connection to those towers to get them back on air. Five satellite links have already been deployed.

We remain in contact with federal, state and local emergency management teams and are coordinating communication needs and efforts with them. We are partnering directly with the state and local Emergency Operations Centers (EOCs) on restoration priorities and community needs. Ten mobile cell sites have been deployed to help connect first responders in EOCs and Forward Command Centers. The large mobile cell site that has been deployed in the Ft. Myers Beach area will be moved today to make way for emergency vehicles conducting earth moving and repair work on the beach.

Specific community information and activities can be found below:

Barrier Islands

Sanibel Island, Pine Island, Ft Myers Beach and Bonita Beach still remain inaccessible, although Verizon engineers are coordinating with the local EOC to gain access and complete initial site surveys to determine the extent of damage and prioritize plans for restoration. In the meantime, a tethered drone carrying a cell site is providing service from the air to a 5-7 mile radius around Sanibel Island and the southern part of Pine Island. Verizon engineers are simultaneously working to get additional satellite based assets on those islands and beaches to speed restoration activities.

Desoto, Hardee and Highland counties

Site surveys of damaged towers have been completed in most areas, with access to a few sites still an issue because of extensive flooding. Loss of commercial power to sites in these counties continues to be a challenge so Verizon field engineers are moving in additional portable generators to many of these areas today.

Other Areas of Lee County

With the flooding and structural damage in Lee County, access to some sites remains a challenge, but engineers are quickly moving portable generators and other assets into this market. Three towers have sustained structural damage and crews have been mobilized to address those needs.

Verizon Frontline 

The Verizon Frontline Crisis Response Team remains deployed across Florida to provide mission-critical communications support to public safety agencies responding to Hurricane Ian at no cost to the supported agencies.

The team is in contact with federal, state and local emergency management teams and is coordinating communication needs and efforts with nearly 50 public safety agencies operating in the region. The Verizon Frontline Crisis Response Team has now deployed more than 250 Verizon Frontline solutions including drones, smartphones, routers, mobile hotspots, and portable satellite assets in support of emergency response operations in the region.

The Verizon Frontline Crisis Response Team provides on-demand, emergency assistance during crisis situations to government agencies and emergency responders on a 24/7 basis.


10/1/22 Afternoon Update

Network Update 

Restoration efforts are moving at a brisk pace this afternoon, with the engineering team recovering several more sites throughout Florida.

Orlando area

In the Orlando area, we are almost fully restored with just a few sites that are not accessible due to flooding. These sites have nearby towers providing overlapping coverage, but customers in those communities may see some capacity constraints. In Orange County in particular, we have two towers with physical damage and we are working to move a temporary cell tower into that market to bring service back up. For cell towers that are processing traffic, there is still minor repair work to displaced antennas and damaged equipment. Our engineers have dispatched teams throughout the area to make those repairs and customers will continue to see an improvement in speed and throughput. In the meantime, we are moving field engineers and equipment further south toward Lee, Collier and Charlotte counties for additional assistance in those areas. 

Tampa area

In the Tampa area south towards Sarasota and east towards Highlands, access continues to be a challenge with significant flooding slowing field work. Despite access issues, our field engineers have brought many sites in this area back online, and currently nine mobile assets including mobile cell towers and satellite links for permanent cell sites have been deployed. Field teams are seeing some fiber that has been damaged and some damage to towers. Vendor partners are being activated for those repairs. We are working actively with fiber providers in Sarasota and Charlotte counties to restore power to a portion of their fiber footprints to bring up some towers there. Fiber circuits just above Port Charlotte and North of Venice Beach will require some construction repair work, and teams are working on those issues.

Southwest Florida

In Southwestern Florida including Lee, Collier and Hendry counties, access also continues to be a challenge. More than a dozen sites in beach communities are inaccessible, however for Sandibel and Pine Island, we are providing service from a tethered drone in the air. In Colliers, Lee and Charlotte counties, Verizon’s engineers deployed additional 5G Ultra Wideband technology to critical cell sites this morning to provide greater capacity for first responders, public safety officials and residents connecting to loved ones and critical resources. 

With over a million customers still without commercial power, massive refueling efforts continue throughout the day to ensure our permanent and portable generators remain in service. Verizon technicians and mechanics are working to repair generators that have been running for days or have flood damage.

Engineers from outside of the state made their way into Southwest Florida today to assist with the cleanup and repair efforts. Similarly, engineers in areas of Florida that have made significant recovery progress are being redeployed towards the hardest hit areas in Southwestern Florida.

We remain in contact with federal, state and local emergency management teams and are coordinating communication needs and efforts with them. We are partnering directly with the state and local EOCs on restoration priorities and community needs.

Images of Hurricane Ian restoration efforts.


10/1/22 Morning Update

Network Update 

Restoration efforts throughout Florida are continuing today with field teams inspecting sites, evaluating the extent of damage, making repairs and deploying mobile generators to provide temporary power while commercial power is out. 

On Sanibel Island, which was separated from the mainland when the bridge collapsed during Hurricane Ian, Verizon has launched a drone that is providing cellular coverage from the air to support search and rescue teams and first responders on the ground. The drone provides coverage for an approximate 5-7 mile radius and can fly for up to 1,000 hours.

Orlando

In Orlando, repairs on the final few sites impacted continue. Orange, Seminole, Volusia, Lake and Osceola counties no longer have significant gaps in coverage. In the Windermere Ocoee area, two sites were flooded and will have longer repair times. While overlapping service from nearby towers is providing some coverage, Verizon engineers are working to move a temporary cell site into place to supplement those flooded towers until they are repaired. For cell towers that are processing traffic, there is still minor repair work to displaced antennas and damaged equipment. Our engineers have dispatched teams throughout the market to make those repairs and customers will continue to see an improvement in speed and throughput as those repairs are made.

Tampa area

Hillsborough and Pinellas counties no longer have significant gaps in coverage. Verizon engineers will continue working to restore the final few sites out of service in these counties, but overlapping coverage is providing service throughout the majority of the area.

South Florida

In Charlotte, Lee and Collier counties, site surveys for offline towers will be completed today. Commercial power outages remain the biggest challenge for this area. However, our engineers are uncovering broken aerial fiber (fiber connects our cell sites to the rest of the network) and significant flooding issues. Temporary satellite connections are being moved into these counties to provide connectivity until fiber can be repaired.

In Cape Coral and at Boca Grande Island, towers incurred significant structural damage. Engineers are working to move in Towers on Wheels (TOWs) which are mobile towers on flatbeds to restore service until those towers can be rebuilt. In areas with flooding and access issues, Verizon engineers are flying drones in to evaluate our infrastructure and determine needed repairs and mobile assets. Verizon continues to work with the local EOC officials to gain access to restricted geographies.

Verizon network leadership has stood up a forward EOC locally in Lee County which is fully operational to speed recovery efforts. 

With over a million customers still without commercial power, massive refueling efforts continue throughout the day to ensure our permanent and portable generators remain in service. Additionally, engineers from other markets are making their way into Southwest Florida today to assist with the cleanup and repair efforts.

We remain in contact with federal, state and local emergency management teams and are coordinating communication needs and efforts with them. We are partnering directly with the state and local EOCs on restoration priorities and community needs. We have deployed mobile cell sites to support Lee County, Ft. Myers, DeSoto, Venice, and Port Charlotte public safety officials.


9/30/22 Evening Update

Network Update

Throughout the day, our engineers and technicians have been restoring service to impacted cell sites, mobilizing portable assets in support of public safety and first responders, and undertaking a major refueling effort. Significant restoration progress has been made with much still ahead.

Site surveys of every impacted cell site that are accessible are underway with more than 100 already complete. For sites inaccessible because of flooding or debris, drones are being used to capture images from the air in order to determine restoration plans. Tower crews, fiber repair crews and other support teams are being deployed as needed to out of service sites with specific repair needs including loss of base station equipment, fiber connection losses, antenna damage and more. Tower climbers have been busy throughout the day replacing and repairing broken or displaced antennas and other structural damage caused to towers during the storm.

Verizon engineers continue mobilizing portable assets in Lee and Charlotte counties as well as other areas impacted by the storm. These provide both power to cell sites and supplemental coverage to first responders for search, rescue and recovery efforts.

Orlando and N. Florida

Multiple generator repairs in the northeastern portion of Florida in and around Orlando have led to tremendous coverage improvements, and Orange, Seminole, Volusia, Lake and Osceola counties no longer have significant gaps in coverage. The majority of areas in those counties with sites remaining out of service are being served by overlapping coverage from nearby sites on air. Efforts continue in earnest to refuel sites that are running on generators and site surveys and repairs will continue around the clock.

The Tampa Bay area

In the Tampa, St. Petersburg, and Panellas county areas multiple fiber hubs have been restored which has resulted in numerous sites back on air. Site surveys are underway, however power continues to be an issue with commercial power out and generators at cell sites flooded. Generator technicians are working repairs and mobile generators are being mobilized. 

South Florida

While several sites have restored in the hardest hit areas of Hillsborough county south to Collier County there are still significant areas without service. Many of the coastal cell sites are inaccessible due to flooding, debris or roadway closures. Unmanned drones are being used to try and evaluate impacts to those towers, with structural damage likely. Several mobile assets have been deployed to supplement coverage in that area. A mobile cell site using mid-earth orbit satellite backhaul has been deployed on Ft. Myers, providing greater coverage and capacity than a standard mobile cell site. Other smaller mobile cell sites and satellite backhaul trailers (which will temporarily replace the role of fiber in our network) have been deployed throughout Lee County, DeSoto, Collier, Marco Island, Ft. Myers and Port Charlotte.

We remain in contact with federal, state and local emergency management teams and are coordinating communication needs and efforts with them. We are partnering directly with the state and local EOCs on restoration priorities and community needs. And we continue to collaborate closely with the power and telco providers on efforts to restore wireless communication as quickly as possible.

As the Hurricane makes landfall in South Carolina, we are seeing many sites and a switch location in Charleston, SC lose commercial power and run on backup generators. Fuel has been pre-staged throughout the market and as the storm moves out, refueling efforts, site surveys and repair work will begin in earnest there.


9/30/22 Morning Update

Network Update

Florida continues to experience widespread flooding and commercial power outages for millions of people, and the structural devastation caused by Hurricane Ian continues to come into focus. 

Verizon’s network, while remaining in service throughout a significant portion of the storm impacted area, is seeing service impairments particularly in the Southwest areas of Lee and Charlotte counties and west towards Lake Okeechobee. In these areas, significant flooding has impacted cell site buildings and damaged generators. Two sites were physically damaged from flooding and replacement equipment is coming in today to repair those. Yesterday, fiber rings were repaired in Ft. Myers and Cape Coral which turned up multiple sites serving those areas. Technicians are being deployed to repair generators as able and deploy mobile generators when repairs can not be quickly made. Mobile assets have been deployed to support first responders and public safety teams throughout Lee and Charlotte counties. 

Specifically, we have deployed satellite technology to replace damaged fiber to cell sites in Ft. Myers. Additionally, we have deployed satellite supported temporary cell sites in Arcadia, Cape Coral, Ft. Myers, Marco Island and North Port. We have other temporary mobile assets being deployed in additional locations in southwest Florida.

In the northern areas of Florida including Orlando, the majority of impact is power related. Field engineers are going site by site as they are able to access locations to repair permanent generators and deploy mobile generators where those are needed. 

And in the Tampa area, we are seeing similar impacts from flooding, particularly south of Tampa near the Sarasota and Bradenton communities. One fiber hub that serves Panellas County is currently experiencing service interruptions and a technician is on site working on repairs to that hub.

Today’s efforts will continue to focus on:

  • Restoring permanent generators that have been damaged by flooding or debris

  • Mobilizing portable generators

  • Continuing with a massive refueling operation

  • Conducting site surveys to prioritize repairs

  • Moving more crews into the market to assist with recovery efforts

  • Mobilizing portable cell towers to support public safety organizations

  • Mobilizing portable satellite assets to replace damaged fiber that serves as connectivity between our towers and the rest of the network

With Hurricane Ian beginning to make landfall in South Carolina, the Verizon network has not felt any impact at this time along the Carolinas coast. 

Verizon Frontline Update

The Verizon Frontline Crisis Response Team remains deployed across the Southeast to provide mission-critical communications support to public safety agencies responding to Hurricane Ian at no cost to the supported agencies.

The team is in contact with federal, state and local emergency management teams and is coordinating communication needs and efforts with more than 30 public safety agencies operating in the region. The Verizon Frontline Crisis Response Team has now deployed more than 220 Verizon Frontline solutions, such as smartphones, mobile hotspots, and portable satellite assets in support of emergency response operations in the region.

Satellite Picocells on Trailers (SPOTs) have been deployed by the Verizon Frontline Crisis Response Team to help provide first responders operating in North Port, Marco Island and Cape Coral with mission-critical communications capabilities as response efforts continue.

The Verizon Frontline Crisis Response Team provides on-demand, emergency assistance during crisis situations to government agencies and emergency responders on a 24/7 basis. 

Community Support

As Hurricane Ian makes landfall in South Carolina, Verizon is offering unlimited calling, texting and data through October 4th for prepaid and postpaid consumer and small business customers in the following counties:

  • Beaufort

  • Berkeley

  • Brunswick, NC

  • Charleston

  • Colleton

  • Georgetown

  • Horry

  • Jasper

  • Williamsburg

Customers do not have to take any action to take advantage of the offer and can verify eligibility for call/text/data relief by entering their zip code here: https://www.verizon.com/featured/relief/.


9/29/22 Afternoon Update

Network Update 

As Tropical Storm Ian now makes its way past Florida to the Atlantic, Verizon’s network team is deep into recovery and support efforts. Despite extensive flooding and debris preventing access to some facilities, site surveys to assess damage to cell sites and network facilities are ongoing. The team has prioritized restoration efforts, focusing on first responders and search and recovery efforts.

We are engaged in a massive refueling operation to keep our generators at our cell sites and network facilities running for our customers until commercial power is restored. Our engineers are confident we have the fuel and crews we need to keep that operation running 24x7 until that happens. Additional generators are being imported from surrounding states.

Verizon engineers began deploying mobile assets (temporary mobile network equipment), prioritizing core public safety and government EOCs including police departments, fire departments, search and rescue teams.

Engineering teams will work into the evening as long as it is safe to be out in the field. When restoration efforts resume tomorrow, priorities will be on mobilizing generators, repairing fiber, and placing temporary assets where public safety agencies have the greatest need. 

Verizon Frontline Update

The Verizon Frontline Crisis Response Team has deployed across the Southeast to provide mission-critical communications support to public safety agencies responding to Hurricane Ian at no cost to the supported agencies.

The team is in contact with federal, state and local emergency management teams and is coordinating communication needs and efforts with nearly 30 public safety agencies operating in the region. The Verizon Frontline Crisis Response Team has now deployed more than 190 Verizon Frontline solutions, such as smartphones, mobile hotspots, and portable satellite assets in support of emergency response efforts in the region.

Three Satellite Picocells on Trailers (SPOTs) have now been deployed by the Verizon Frontline Crisis Response Team to help provide first responders operating in some of the hardest hit areas of Florida with mission-critical communications capabilities.

The Verizon Frontline Crisis Response Team provides on-demand, emergency assistance during crisis situations to government agencies and emergency responders on a 24/7 basis. 


9/29/22 Morning Update

Network Update 

In the wake of the worst storm to hit Southwest Florida in decades, Verizon’s network continues to withstand the storm with few concentrated areas of impact to our network primarily along the west coast of Florida from Tampa through Naples where the ferocity of the storm concentrated its power. Counties hit especially hard include: Charlotte, Collier, Hillsborough, Lee, Manatee, Pinellas, Polk and Sarasota.

Verizon engineers and technicians have begun the difficult work of assessing damage and prioritizing restoration efforts. Flooding and debris are preventing access to many places, but teams are completing site surveys and revising restoration plans. We are prioritizing assistance for first responders, emergency operation centers and search and rescue efforts early today.

In the midst of widespread commercial power outages we have backup generators running at cell sites and switch facilities, and we are on standby to refuel generators as soon as needed when it is safe for crews to be out. We have mobile assets moving into the storm impacted areas and deployments will begin as those assets are able to reach the hardest hit areas.

We are in contact with federal, state and local emergency management teams and are coordinating communication needs and efforts with them.

Verizon Frontline Update

The Verizon Frontline Crisis Response Team has deployed across the Southeast to provide mission-critical communications support to public safety agencies responding to Hurricane Ian at no cost to the supported agencies.

The team is in contact with federal, state and local emergency management teams and is coordinating communication needs and efforts with these agencies. The Verizon Frontline Crisis Response Team has now deployed more than 150 Verizon Frontline solutions, such as smartphones and mobile hotspots, in support of emergency response efforts in the region.

The Verizon Frontline Crisis Response Team provides on-demand, emergency assistance during crisis situations to government agencies and emergency responders on a 24/7 basis. 

Community Response Update 

Verizon is supporting its prepaid and postpaid customers impacted by Hurricane Ian. Customers in the following Florida counties will receive unlimited calling, texting and data through October 4, 2022.

  • Brevard

  • Charlotte

  • Collier

  • DeSoto

  • Glades

  • Hardee

  • Hendry

  • Highlands

  • Hillsborough

  • Indian River

  • Lake

  • Lee

  • Manatee

  • Okeechobee

  • Orange

  • Osceola

  • Pinellas

  • Polk

  • Sarasota

  • Seminole

  • Volusia

Customers do not have to take any action to take advantage of the offer and can verify eligibility for call/text/data relief by entering their zip code here: https://www.verizon.com/featured/relief/.

We will continue to monitor and evaluate the counties included in this offer. For full details on how Verizon is supporting our customers impacted by Hurricane Ian, click here.


9/28/22 Afternoon Update

Network update 

As the most severe hurricane to make landfall continues inland, it is leaving behind commercial power outages, extensive flooding and significant structural damage throughout the area in its wake. Despite the extensive devastation, Verizon’s network remains resilient, and our teams are actively assessing the situation to engage rapidly in recovery efforts when it is safe to do so.

While we are seeing sites out of service in the heaviest hit areas along the western coast of Florida primarily north of Naples up through Tampa in the Western coastal areas of Florida, sites remaining in service running on generator power are offering some coverage to residents and first responders who remain there.

Once the storm subsides and it is safe to do so, our crews will begin site assessments to prioritize repairs, move mobile assets into place as needed, and activate a massive refueling operation to keep sites running until commercial power is restored. Our mobile cell sites, generators, drones, and satellite links will begin moving into the area from the safe zones where they were pre-staged before the storm. We will prioritize assistance for first responders, emergency operation centers and search and rescue efforts.

Our Network teams and vendor partners are staffing our 24x7 virtual wireless command center and we are in contact with federal, state and local emergency management teams and are coordinating communications needs and efforts with them.

Community Response Update 

Verizon is expanding its support for customers impacted by Hurricane Ian. Starting Thursday, September 29, customers in the following counties will receive unlimited calling, texting and data through October 4, 2022.

  • Brevard

  • Collier

  • Glades

  • Hendry

  • Highlands

  • Indian River

  • Lake

  • Okeechobee

  • Orange

  • Osceola

  • Seminole

  • Volusia

Customers do not have to take any action to take advantage of the offer and can verify eligibility for call/text/data relief by entering their zip code here: https://www.verizon.com/featured/relief/.

We will continue to monitor and evaluate the counties included in this offer. For full details on how Verizon is supporting our customers impacted by Hurricane Ian, click here.

Several nonprofit organizations have launched text-to-donate campaigns. Verizon customers can make a $10 donation by texting the numbers listed below:

  • Text IAN to 90999 to make a donation to the American Red Cross. 

  • Text DISASTER to 20222 to make a donation to the Florida Disaster Fund activated by the Volunteer Florida Foundation. 

  • Text RELIEF to 20222 to make a donation to the Orlando Health Foundation. 


9/28/22 Morning Update

Network update

As Hurricane Ian strengthens and quickly approaches Florida, Verizon’s network Emergency Operations Center is actively monitoring our network. Early wind and rain have had minimal impact on the network with all switch locations (fortified in hurricane proof facilities) still on commercial power and all major metro fiber rings still in service with redundancy. Verizon is experiencing a small number of cell sites out of service due to fiber or power outages. The network Emergency Operations Center will continue monitoring and responding to Hurricane Ian 24x7 and recovery efforts will begin as soon as the storm passes and it is safe for our engineers and technicians to get out into the field.

All preparations for network repair and recovery efforts have been completed. Details can be found here: https://www.verizon.com/about/news/tropical-storm-ian-verizon-ready

Frontline Update 

The Verizon Frontline Crisis Response Team is engaged with local, state and federal response teams, standing by to provide mission-critical communications support to public safety agencies responding to Hurricane Ian at no cost to the supported agencies. 

Community Response Update

Verizon consumer (prepaid and postpaid) and small business customers* in parts of Florida who will likely be most affected by Hurricane Ian will receive unlimited calling, texting and data September 28 through October 4, 2022. Accounts with billing addresses in the following Florida counties are included: Charlotte, DeSoto, Hardee, Hillsborough, Lee, Manatee, Pinellas, Polk and Sarasota. As Hurricane Ian makes landfall, we will continue to monitor and evaluate the counties included in this offer.

Some Verizon retail store hours may be subject to change due to local conditions and mandatory evacuation orders. Please check the status and make an appointment at verizonwireless.com/stores before visiting.

Verizon Frontline Crisis Response Team standing by to provide mission-critical communications support to public safety agencies responding to Hurricane Ian at no cost to public safety agencies.

Click here for more info.

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