Verizon Wireless To Provide Free Lifeline Phones And Service To Those Most Impacted By Hurricane Katrina

HOUSTON, TX — Verizon Wireless is working in conjunction with the Federal Communications Commission to provide wireless telecommunications relief to qualified individuals who were harmed and displaced by Hurricane Katrina.

"Verizon Wireless is committed to helping residents who are enduring hardships and dislocations due to Hurricane Katrina to gain access to wireless communications while they seek to rebuild their lives," said Katherine Greene, president for the Verizon Wireless Gulf Coast region.

Eligible customers will receive a prepaid; GPS enabled handset with battery charger and a standard lithium ion battery as well as 300 minutes of prepaid service usable for 120 days from activation or when the 300 minutes are exhausted. The handset and prepaid service will be provided free-of-charge and will not be subject to any contractual obligations.

Customers have the option of purchasing additional prepaid minutes and services through Verizon Wireless' standard customer prepaid plans after activation of a Katrina Lifeline plan. If a customer purchases prepaid services under a Verizon Wireless standard prepaid plan, any unexpired Katrina Lifeline minutes will be applied to the standard plan.

The temporary Katrina Lifeline service will be provided to customers who meet the following eligibility requirements and submit a request prior to March 1, 2006:

  • Customers must certify they were residents of counties in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as eligible for individual assistance related to Hurricane Katrina.

  • Customers must certify that they are designated by FEMA as eligible for disaster housing assistance without repayment obligations and must attach a copy of their FEMA eligibility letter from the Individuals and Household Program (IHP) demonstrating their approval for disaster housing assistance.

  • Customers must certify that they are the head of their household, and that their household is receiving only one Katrina Lifeline special support package.

  • At the time the application is submitted, customers must reside in areas of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama or eastern Texas where Verizon Wireless provides service.

  • Customers must submit an application for a Katrina Lifeline offering postmarked on or before March 1, 2006.

Qualifying counties and parishes include:

  • Alabama — Baldwin, Mobile, Pickens, Greene, Hale, Tuscaloosa, and Washington counties.

  • Louisiana — Acadia, Ascension, Assumption, Calcasieu, Cameron, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Iberia, Iberville, Jefferson, Jefferson Davis, Lafayette, Lafourche, Lincoln, Livingston, Orleans, Pointe Coupee, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. Helena, St. James, St. John, St. Mary, St. Martin, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Terrebonne, Vermilion, Washington, West Baton Rouge, and West Feliciana counties.

  • Mississippi — Adams, Amite, Attala, Bolivar, Claiborne, Choctaw, Clarke, Copiah, Covington, Forrest, Franklin, George, Greene, Hancock, Harrison, Hinds, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Jefferson Davis, Jones, Kemper, Lafayette, Lama, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Leake, Lincoln, Lowndes, Madison, Marion, Neshoba, Newton, Noxubee, Oktibbeha, Pearl River, Perry, Pike, Quitman, Rankin, Scott, Simpson, Smith, Stone, Tippah, Walthall, Warren, Wayne, Wilkinson, Winston, and Yazoo counties.

Customers meeting these criteria can call 1-866-442-7950 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Central Standard Time Monday through Friday (except holidays) to receive information on Verizon Wireless' Katrina Lifeline offering and to request a Katrina Lifeline application.

Customers must fill out an application attesting to the above terms and provide their previous residential address in the Katrina affected area, current address, social security number and the required certifications. The application must be post marked no later than March 1, 2006 and submitted to the Verizon Wireless centralized service center.

About Verizon WirelessVerizon Wireless owns and operates the nation's most reliable wireless network, serving 49.3 million voice and data customers. Headquartered in Bedminster, NJ, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD). Find more information on the Web at To preview and request broadcast-quality video footage and high-resolution stills of Verizon Wireless operations, log on to the Verizon Wireless Multimedia Library at