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TMCNet:  Verizon Completes Wireline Network Preparations for Nor'easter, As Sandy Service Restoral Continues

[November 08, 2012]

Verizon Completes Wireline Network Preparations for Nor'easter, As Sandy Service Restoral Continues

Nov 08, 2012 (M2 PRESSWIRE via COMTEX) -- As Verizon wireline employees continue to reconnect consumers, businesses and government clients in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, the company has completed preparations for a nor'easter that began to affect the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast Wednesday (Nov. 7).

"With this nor'easter bearing down on a wide region that includes ground already traveled by Sandy - as well as areas such as Massachusetts that escaped Sandy's worst - we're urging all our customers and employees to be careful and safe," said Robert Mudge, president of Verizon's Consumer and Mass Business division. "Safety is paramount for our people and our customers. We are doubling our crews and have brought in extra equipment and supplies to help restore service in the wake of Sandy, and now this latest storm, as quickly and as safely as possible." Preparation for Nor'easter: Verizon has completed preparations for the nor'easter's arrival, testing and confirming fuel supplies for backup generators; sandbagging key facilities; moving vehicles and other portable equipment from low-lying areas; contacting snow-removal vendors; and stocking critical supplies in centralized locations for rapid deployment to hard-hit areas.

From its various surveillance and command centers, the company will closely monitor weather conditions as the nor'easter impacts the area and will pull technicians off their restoral work should conditions become unsafe. Employees will resume their restoral work as soon as weather conditions allow.

Strategically pre-positioning materials and equipment helps speed restoration efforts and will get crews, which have been working round-the-clock, back to work faster after this latest storm passes.

Verizon Enterprise Solutions clients that require additional assistance with their business continuity plans or service in the face of the nor'easter should contact their account manager.

Emergency communications such as 911 service operated well during and after Sandy, and Verizon will continue to update 911 center employees and respond quickly to any issues they may encounter as the nor'easter hits.

Several resources are available online to help people prepare for the nor'easter, including instructions on how to prepare for a Winter Storm on the American Red Cross website; Tips for Consumers on a Personal Emergency Communications Plan from Verizon Wireless; and a Web page for Verizon customers affected by the recent severe weather . For daily updates on Verizon's non-stop work to restore services and help communities in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, visit the Verizon News Center.

Restoration for Customers in Mid-Atlantic, Northeast: Verizon employees continue to bring back voice, data, Internet and TV service to thousands of customers daily in the areas affected by Hurricane Sandy.

Power has been restored to several critical Verizon facilities in lower Manhattan and Queens. These facilities 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.

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.

The company continues to redeploy technicians and equipment to New Jersey and New York to hasten restoral in those hard-hit areas as commercial power is restored and Verizon crews can access damaged facilities for the first time. Verizon will double the current force of technicians in these two areas over the next several days, drawing crews from Maryland, Massachusetts, upstate New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

The company has extended call-center hours and shifts to better meet customers' service needs.

Customer Repairs, Replacements, Care and Caution: 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 counties of New York and New Jersey impacted by Hurricane Sandy. Domestic voice and text usage will be automatically removed from accounts for activity between Oct. 29 and Nov. 16. Included counties can be found at: http://news.verizonwireless.com/news/2012/11/pr2012-11-04a.html .

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.

Supporting Emergency Responders, Communities: Many Verizon FiOS and Verizon Wireless stores in the affected region are open to people who need to charge their wireless devices. To find a store near you, click here . People should bring their own device chargers and call a store first to ensure it's open. Verizon Wireless has plans to temporarily relocate some outdoor mobile recharging stations to protect the safety of employees and the community and to ensure the stations remain operable and ready to deploy when it's safe to do so. An updated listing of locations and services can be found here .

Verizon has moved several units in its emergency fleet of vehicles and self-contained emergency inflatable-air shelters to a safe zone in advance of the nor'easter, and will redeploy them to areas of need as the storm passes. These units assist local government, public-safety and emergency management agencies, providing them with communications, Internet and video capabilities in particularly hard-hit areas where such services may not currently be available.

( NOTE: To view or embed a video of the emergency response vehicle in Hazlet, N.J., visit http://vz.to/UkCehK . To view or embed a video of the emergency response vehicle in Hoboken, N.J., visit http://vz.to/UkAAwP . ) To support Hurricane Sandy relief efforts, Verizon Wireless customers and the Verizon Foundation have pledged more than $3.5 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. For more on the Verizon Foundation's Sandy support, click here .

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 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 Communications Inc. (NYSE, Nasdaq: VZ), headquartered in New York, is a global leader in delivering broadband and other wireless and wireline communications services to consumer, business, government and wholesale customers. Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, with nearly 96 million retail customers nationwide. Verizon also provides converged communications, information and entertainment services over America's most advanced fiber-optic network, and delivers integrated business solutions to customers in more than 150 countries, including all of the Fortune 500. A Dow 30 company with $111 billion in 2011 revenues, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of 184,500. For more information, visit www.verizon.com .

Media Contact: Northeast Mid-Atlantic John Bonomo , 212-321-8033 Harry Mitchell , 304-356-3404 National Verizon Enterprise Solutions Bill Kula , APR, 972-718-6924 Janet Brumfield , 614-723-1060 (office) 614-582-9636 (mobile) ((M2 Communications disclaims all liability for information provided within M2 PressWIRE. Data supplied by named party/parties. Further information on M2 PressWIRE can be obtained at http://www.presswire.net on the world wide web. Inquiries to info@m2.com.

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