Verizon responds to Southern California wildfires – 12.8.2017 update

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Heidi Flato

The following statement is from Jonathan LeCompte, president – Pacific Market:


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Fierce winds continue to fuel wildfires in Southern California this week, with new fires breaking out in San Diego and Riverside Counties. Verizon’s ongoing response is focused on keeping first responders, evacuation shelters and the community connected. 

Keeping you connected

Our wireless network is running at 100% of normal performance within the Ventura County coverage area, and at nearly 100% of normal performance in the Lilac Fire coverage area (San Diego County). Our network has not been impacted in other parts of Southern California. We’re closely monitoring the situation and making adjustments as needed.   
  • We’ve added capacity to cell sites covering the CAL FIRE incident command center and evacuation shelters in Ventura County to handle increased network traffic.
  • Microwave solutions have been added where fiber connectivity has been lost or damaged.
  • Several of our cell sites continue to run on backup power where commercial power has been lost.
  • Mobile equipment – such as cells on wheels (COWs), cells on light trucks (COLTs), satellite picocells on trailers (SPOTs) and repeaters on trailers (RATs) – will be deployed as needed.

Supporting the community

The Verizon Response Team (VRT) is on the ground, providing first responders, relief organizations and displaced residents with wireless communications support.
  • 111 wireless devices -- such as smartphones, routers, jetpacks -- have been loaned to fire command centers and relief organizations to support their communications needs.
  • VRT staffing and communications support

​Fire base camps – Thomas, Rye and Lilac Fires

Evacuation shelters:

  • Nordoff High School, Ojai
  • Oxnard College Gym, Oxnard
  • Ventura County Fairgrounds, Ventura
  • UC Santa Barbara Multi-Activity Court, Santa Barbara
  • Oceanside High School, Oceanside

Disaster Recovery Trailer (DRT) located at the Ventura County Fairgrounds evacuation shelter

  • Providing cell phone charging
  • Internet station with connected laptops
  • Wi-Fi access
  • Live news broadcasts on the big screen
  • And bottled water

Caring for customers

To ease concerns of data overages in the hardest hit areas, Verizon is offering customers in those locations unlimited talk, text and data at no extra charge from December 7-10. Learn more at Verizon Wireless.
Verizon retail stores in Southern California are open and staffed to assist customers with their needs during this difficult time. Find the nearest location.

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Verizon’s ongoing response to Southern California wildfires