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Verizon Hurricane Sandy Special Report

Verizon Redirects More than 1,200 Technicians to New Jersey and New York to Assist in Restoring Service Following Hurricane Sandy

 

Verizon is bringing in more than 1,200 additional wireline employees from other parts of its service area to help reconnect consumers, businesses and government clients in New Jersey and the New York City metropolitan area, which were severely affected by Hurricane Sandy.

Verizon Crew Repairs Utility Pole

A Verizon crew repairing a utility pole downed by Hurricane Sandy in New Jersey .

The redeployed technicians and equipment will help Verizon hasten restoral as commercial power is restored and crews can access Sandy-damaged facilities for the first time.  Verizon is augmenting its repair force in these two areas, drawing crews from Maryland , Massachusetts , upstate New York , Pennsylvania and Virginia

 

Verizon employees continue to restore voice, data, Internet and TV service to customers, and crews are assessing any new damage to outside facilities, such as poles and cables, from Winter Storm Athena.

 

Verizon Technicians

Verizon technicians Mike Treaster (driver) and Jonathan Burkett (passenger) leaving State College, Pa. , for New Jersey this morning for Storm Restoration work.

Verizon continues to coordinate with commercial power companies and local authorities to resolve restoral challenges caused by downed power lines, trees and other debris; and heavy snow in some areas of the region affected by the two storms. 

 

Even as power is restored to key facilities and customers' homes or businesses, Verizon may need to repair or replace damaged equipment - such as flooded electronics in switching offices, and broken poles and downed lines in neighborhoods - to bring back service for customers. 

 

To better meet customers' service needs, the company has extended call-center hours and employee work shifts.

 

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. 

 

For continuously updated information related to Verizon's progress on restoring service, visit the Hurricane Sandy Update Center.  

  

For more information on Verizon Wireless efforts related to Hurricane Sandy, visit the Emergency Information Center.

Verizon Enterprise Solutions updates are available at  www.verizonbusiness.com/info/hurricane.

 

Government agencies, non-profit organizations, and emergency management teams can call the VZW National Crisis Response Team (or VCRT) at 800-981-9558

 

 

 

Verizon Mobile Command Center Assists NJ Law Enforcement During Sandy Aftermath

 

When Hurricane Sandy hit New Jersey hard, Verizon's mobile command center was at the ready for New Jersey public safety officials. The command center was deployed to Hazlet , NJ , where state, county and local law enforcement are coordinating their operations in areas where power and communications were down.

The mobile station provides New Jersey law enforcement organizations with communications, Internet, video capabilities.

"After touring Verizon's support center it's obvious how sophisticated it is and how we are able to integrate so many different efforts through this one resource," said Jeffrey S. Chisea, Attorney General for the State of New Jersey . "To have this one resource makes a huge difference in how we can allocate our resources in a way that we can funnel information where it's needed."

The concept of a self-sufficient mobile command center was generated by the company's experience in the devastating hurricanes of Katrina and Rita, which rocked the Gulf Coast in 2005.

"The mobile command center is tremendous as a forward command post for us in these particularly difficult times," said Col. Joseph R. Fuentes, New Jersey State Police Superintendent. "It gives us a place to go to overcome communications difficulties and a place to deploy our forces forward. This is a tremendous assist from Verizon."

The command center also has access to a specialized radio network linked directly to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. When Verizon designed the command center, the company not only wanted to meet the needs of its employees and customers, but also the needs of local and state officials and federal agencies responding to disasters. For example, the rig includes a 48-inch plotter used for printing large wall-sized maps, allowing public agency responders to review large printouts of the impacted region.


"We're able to run the law enforcement operations on a local, county, state and federal level as well as the National Guard," said Sgt. Jeffrey Wilbert, Monmouth Prosecutor's Office, Major Crimes Bureau. "For Verizon not only responded, but responded with a state-of-the-art command unit, an IT-staffed unit, employees and other assistance. They brought all their manpower . It's well equipped and well staffed. Anything and everything we needed they brought it. I don't know what we would have done without them."

 

 

 

Customer Repairs and Replacement of Hurricane-Damaged Equipment


Verizon technical support will help customers determine if their equipment such as set-top boxes or home broadband routers is operable or needs replacement. Troubleshooting tips are also available for customers at www.verizon.com/outage.

The company will repair or replace any consumer or small business Verizon equipment damaged by Sandy , without charge. This includes FiOS set-top boxes, FiOS broadband routers, optical network terminals and High Speed Internet (DSL) broadband routers.

Verizon will provide credits for landline customers who have reported an out-of-service condition related to Hurricane Sandy. Verizon Wireless is offering a Voice and Text program for customers in all 21 counties in New Jersey . Domestic voice and text usage will be automatically removed from accounts for activity between Oct. 29 and Nov. 16. 

 

bbu

Verizon FiOS Battery Backup Unit

Customers may suspend their Verizon landline services free of charge if they're currently unable to live in their home or operate their small business as a result of Sandy .

Verizon provides an emergency backup battery to its FiOS customers at installation in the event they lose commercial power. This battery backup unit (BBU) provides up to eight hours of standby voice service, depending on usage. For example, receiving calls uses power to ring the phones and would reduce the available backup power time. 

 

The BBU will shut down approximately one hour before the battery is fully depleted. At that point, a customer can press the "battery emergency use" button located on the BBU and obtain up to an hour of battery life in the event the customer needs to make an emergency call.  

 

 

Verizon Wireless Customers and Verizon Foundation Pledge More than $3.7 Million to American Red Cross


Verizon FoundationTo support Hurricane Sandy relief efforts, Verizon Wireless customers and the Verizon Foundation have pledged more than $3.7 million to the American Red Cross and other organizations aiding in Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts.  

 

Customers can still make a $10 donation by texting REDCROSS to 90999, and those who would like to give more can donate up to $50 via text.   In addition, Verizon employees have donated more than $458,000 to the American Red Cross and Salvation Army to date through the Verizon Foundation's matching gifts program; the foundation will match those donations two-for-one.  

 

 

 

Verizon External Affairs is Here to Help


The Verizon External Affairs team is available to assist government officials. If you have any problems that need immediate assistance, please feel free to email the representative in your county.

Mark Bocchieri

Jennifer Young

John Szeliga

Mark Bocchieri


Bergen , Hudson , Essex, Passaic , Morris, Union , Sussex  

 

Jennifer Young


Burlington , Camden , Gloucester , Salem , Cumberland , Cape May, Atlantic

 

John Szeliga


Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean, Mercer, Somerset , Hunterdon, Warren

 

 

Verizon in the News

Verizon workers on a mission: Restore dial tones, and power too

 

SStar Ledger Logoandy didn't just deal a knockout blow to the state's power infrastructure-it also cut phone companies' landlines and punched holes in the wireless network.

 

Now Verizon linemen are working to restore phone service to thousands, and they're helping utilities restore electricity as well, because many of the company's poles are used for both electricity and telephone wires.

Those repairs were underway yesterday on steep and winding Macopin Road , which traverses the hills of West Milford in the northern corner of New Jersey .

 

 

 

Verizon Wireless waiving charges during Hurricane Sandy and beyond  


The RecordVerizon Wireless will be giving customers in areas hit by superstorm Sandy , including Bergen and Passaic counties, free phone and texting service for the period starting Oct. 29 and ending Nov. 16.

 

Domestic voice and text usage will be automatically removed from accounts for those activities, so customers will not be billed additional usage charges for that period, the Basking Ridge-based company said on Monday.

 

The waiver of charges is in effect for Verizon Wireless users in 21 counties in New Jersey and 10 New York counties. Cellphone Internet service is not included.

"We put customers first, and we recognize how important it is to do something proactively for our customers when they need it most," Andrea Kimmet, spokeswoman for Verizon Wireless's Northeast region, said Tuesday.

 

Verizon Employees Continue Working Round-the-Clock to Restore Voice, Data, Internet and TV Services in Mid-Atlantic, Northeast

Verizon employees are in the field Sunday in a continued, comprehensive effort to reconnect voice and data communications, Internet and TV service to consumers, businesses and government clients.
 
Another critical Verizon facility in lower Manhattan now is back in operation on backup power, after unprecedented flooding in the area. The company has restored backup power to five of these key facilities, which provide phone, Internet and TV services for consumers and small businesses in the area, as well as sophisticated data communications for financial services, other enterprises and government agencies.

Verizon engineers and technicians continue to work round-the-clock to restore backup power to other flooded critical facilities in lower Manhattan and Queens in the absence of commercial power.

The utility company serving much of the New York City area late Saturday night revised its estimate for restoration of commercial power to lower Manhattan, pushing the date out to Friday, Nov. 9. This complicates Verizon's ability to get services back up and running at a couple of key facilities serving business clients.

Even as backup power is restored to these facilities, Verizon must also repair heavily damaged outside facilities to bring back service.

 
Verizon employees restored service to thousands of customers Saturday in the Mid- Atlantic and Northeast, and Sunday they will continue to bring voice, Internet and TV back for more consumers, businesses and government clients. Crews continue to work round-the-clock in the hardest-hit New Jersey and New York region to restore services. 

Focusing on Fuel; Supporting Emergency Responders, Communities:

Verizon continues to work with fuel suppliers and federal, state and local government officials to secure the fuel essential to keep generators and service vehicles running so Internet access and voice and data communications can continue to flow.

Verizon has deployed a number of vehicles and self-contained emergency inflatable air shelters from its disaster recovery fleet to assist local government, public-safety and emergency management agencies at locations in Brooklyn, Long Beach, Queens and Staten Island in New York, and Hazlet, Hoboken and Ortley Beach in New Jersey. These mobile stations provide organizations with communications, Internet, video capabilities in particularly hard-hit areas where such services may not currently be available. 

Many Verizon FiOS and Verizon Wireless stores in the affected region are open to people who need to charge their wireless devices. Several Verizon Wireless mobile stores-on-wheels that have been moved into the hard-hit New Jersey and New York areas are also providing this service.

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. For prior Hurricane Sandy updates, click here.

For continuously updated information related to Verizon's progress on restoring service, visit the Hurricane Sandy Update Center.  
  
For more information on Verizon Wireless efforts related to Hurricane Sandy, visit the Emergency Information Center.

Verizon Enterprise Solutions updates are available at www.verizonbusiness.com/info/hurricane.

Verizon Satellite Solutions Group Asset Deployment in New Jersey Hurricane Sandy Impacted areas
Verizon Hoboken
Verizon's Mobile Office Trailer ready to help out in Hoboken (Photo by Frank Conlon)

Verizon Satellite Solutions Group (SSG) assets are being used by government agencies for administrative/Office of Emergency Management uses. Theses assets are not currently available as public calling stations.
 
Big Rig 1 - Emergency Mobile Communications Center - 53-foot facility which supports 24 work stations, VoIP phones, laptops, printer, mobile device charging station.
Address: Ortley Beach, NJ
Supporting Organization: Ocean County Office of Emergency Management

Verizon Mobile Command Center - 51-foot facility, 700 feet of inside work space including an Emergency Operations Center, 11 work stations, conference room, nine video feeds, weather station, 3 large screen TVs, Internet access on outside of rig for first responders/disaster workers
Address: Hazlet, NJ 

Mobile Office Trailer 2 - 8 work stations which support VoIP phones, laptops, printer, charging station, TV with weather and news
Address: Hoboken, NJ
Supporting Org: Office of Emergency Management
Verizon Wireless Deploys Specially Trained Team of Engineers and Technicians

Verizon has deployed specially trained team of engineers and technicians that comprises the Verizon Wireless dedicated national Crisis Response Team (or VCRT) to help government agencies, non-profit organizations, and emergency management teams stay connected to each other and all aspects of this unfolding crisis. VCRT provides support for all these vital services:
  • Back-up voice/data coverage
  • Equipment/network support
  • Live support line to request help 24x7
  • Best-in-class customer support
  • Routing of appropriate requests to Law Enforcement Resource Team (LERT)
  • One phone number to call in a crisis situation
Because VCRT aligns all our network, operations, and account services and support into a single team, you need to make only one call to get this ready-to-deploy source working for you. The VCRT telephone number is (800) 981-9558 and is monitored 24x7x365
Verizon Foundation Pledges $1.2 Million to Provide Relief to Hurricane Sandy Victims

The Verizon Foundation will match $1 million being raised by customers through the Verizon Text to Donate program to the American Red Cross to help provide immediate relief to those impacted by Hurricane Sandy.

Verizon Foundation Verizon Wireless customers can make a $10 donation by texting REDCROSS to 90999. To provide additional relief, the Verizon Foundation is also donating $200,000 to nonprofit agencies in New Jersey and New York that are assisting with local efforts. In addition, the foundation is providing a 2-to-1 match of employee online donations to the Red Cross and the Salvation Army.

"Our hearts go to those impacted by this disaster, and we are leveraging our resources to help mend communities." said Rose Stuckey Kirk, president of the Verizon Foundation. "From our employees who are working round-the-clock to reconnect our customers, to our support of national and local relief agencies, we are committed to supporting our communities, especially in times of crisis."

Text messaging fees will be waived, and 100 percent of each donation goes directly to the American Red Cross. Verizon Wireless customers who pay monthly bills will see their donations on the next regular monthly bill. For customers using the company's prepaid services, donations will be taken from customers' prepaid balances.
American Red Cross and FEMA Relief Locations

The American Red Cross has established a number of fixed locations throughout New Jersey to distribute food, water, blankets, snacks and cold weather gear.

American Red Cross Logo Highlands Elementary School, 360 Navesink Avenue, Highlands, NJ

Belmar Municipal Building, 601 Main Street, Belmar, NJ

Long Branch EOC, Union and 3rd Avenue
Long Branch, NJ

Church of Precious Blood, 72 Riverdale Avenue
Monmouth Beach, NJ

Convention Center,1 Convention Blvd, Atlantic City, NJ

Union Beach Hall, 650 Poole Avenue, Keyport, NJ

FEMA

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has established a Disaster Recovery Center in Brick. Applicants may go for information about FEMA or other disaster assistance programs, or for questions related to your case.

Location: Drum Point Road Elementary School Parking Lot, 41 Drum Point Road, Brick

Hours of Operation: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. M-F; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sat, Sun

Services: Information, Housing Assistance, Housing Services, Teleregistration, IRS Aging, Fax, Copy, Phone use, Crisis Counseling, Insurance, SBA Home Loan, DUA Web Registration, VA, SSA, ONA ,SBA Business Loan, USDA, Hazard Mitigation Volunteer Organization, HUD, Legal Referrals
Verizon External Affairs is Here to Help

The Verizon External Affairs team is available to assist government officials. If you have any problems that need immediate assistance, please feel free to email the representative in your county.

Mark Bocchieri
Jennifer Young
John Szeliga
Mark Bocchieri

Bergen, Hudson, Essex, Passaic, Morris, Union, Sussex 
 
Jennifer Young

Burlington, Camden, Gloucester Salem, Cumberland, Cape May, Atlantic

John Szeliga

Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean, Mercer, Somerset, Hunterdon, Warren

Verizon in the News
Hurricane Sandy Delivers 'Another Catastrophe' To Verizon's Home, Complicating Network Repairs

Huffington Post
The water came rushing through the lobby, crashing against doors, shattering windows and scattering sandbags meant to stop it. Then, it cascaded down the stairs and flooded the underground cable vault, soaking tangled wires that deliver phone and Internet service to customers across the region.

"It was churning like crazy. You can see the line here," Chris Levendos, Verizon's executive director of national operations, said Saturday, pointing to a 4-foot-high water mark left on the lobby wall. "It was finding all sorts of ways to get into the building."
Heavy flooding this week at Verizon's headquarters in lower Manhattan -- a critical node of its network infrastructure -- has begun to subside, but the company's effort to repair damaged network equipment and restore service to customers after Hurricane Sandy continues.

On Saturday morning, pumps sucked thousands of gallons of salt water from the building's basement and spewed it into the street. A roaring 2-megawatt generator kept Verizon's underground network of switches running until power was restored.

Cell phone service spotty, but Verizon Wireless says it's working on it
  
Jersey JournalCell phone service in Hudson County and North Jersey has been spotty since Hurricane Sandy tore through the region Monday night. Whether it's dropped calls, poor signal strength, bad reception or long waits to get Internet access on smart phones, customers have become increasingly frustrated with their providers this week.

Some AT&T customers have reported that they have little or no service on their cell phones. AT&T officials did not return calls for comment.

Verizon Wireless officials say the company is working hard to restore service to its customers.