In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, a few of the United States’ biggest telecoms are making efforts to help speed along the recovery process, while providing those displaced with a little aid in the tech department.
Verizon and AT&T are claiming that 96 percent and 97 percent of their wireless services in the storm-hit areas, respectively, are back up and running, numbers that have probably inched higher since. The more pressing problem is that thousands still remain unable to go back home, or, worse, have no home to go back to. For those still displaced, Verizon and AT&T are offering emergency cell phones and charging stations at several locations in New York.
AT&T has their charging stations set up at several food and water stations in the city, and any AT&T store open in the storm-affected areas can be used as a charging station, as well. Verizon has set up Wireless Emergency Communication Centers on Staten Island, at Monmouth University, and in Toms River, New Jersey. Those locations will offer charging stations and computer workstations, along with emergency mobile phones that can be used to call loved ones. Local residents can make free domestic calls from those locations, as well. If those locations aren’t convenient or are unreachable, Verizon is sending out mobile stores that will be parked in Staten Island, Sea Girt New Jersey and Howell New Jersey. Those will function as full Verizon stores. T-Mobile will be offering charging services at all Red Cross relief centers, as well as emergency phones.
AT&T and T-Mobile are also running their own donation campaigns. T-Mobile has donated $100,000 to the Red Cross, and has pledged to match up to $100,000 donated by the public, who can send donations by text by sending DONATE ($25) or REDCROSS ($10) to 90999. AT&T has given $250,000 to the Red Cross, and is encouraging $10 donations via text. You can text REDCROSS to 90999 (to the Red Cross), STORM to 80888 (to the Salvation Army), or HUMANE to 80888 (to the American Humane Society).
Lastly, AT&T and T-Mobile will be waiving late fees temporarily for those affected by the hurricane. T-Mobile’s late fees will be waived until November 8, while AT&T did not specify when their fee waiver will expire.