DENVER, Aug. 31, 2005 ? With millions of Gulf Coast residents impacted by one of the most catastrophic natural disasters in U.S. history, Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE: Q) and its employees are stepping in to help. In addition to providing calling cards, disaster training and technical support, Qwest today announced it will match employee donations to the American Red Cross up to a total of $250,000.
?This is a time when people from all over the country come together to help disaster victims get their lives back together,? said Qwest chairman and CEO Richard C. Notebaert. ?Many of our employees have been personally impacted by this tragedy and their selfless commitment to restoring telecommunications services and to helping victims of this tragedy is inspirational. Additionally, many of us are responding through contributions of time and money. Our Spirit of Service is not just a tag line, it?s how we operate.?
?Qwest has been a tremendous partner to the Red Cross over the years and they were one of the first companies we reached out to when we saw the tremendous need,? said James Hamilton, executive director of the American Red Cross, West Service Area. ?We could not complete our mission without the generous help of Qwest and the thousands of companies and individuals who contribute time and money to help victims.?
To date, Qwest is actively involved in the following activities:
- Qwest will match donations dollar-for-dollar from employees up to a total of $250,000, providing a total potential monetary value of $500,000.
- A national deployment of American Red Cross disaster response volunteers has been dispatched to assist those affected by Katrina, many of whom were recently trained with a $230,000 grant the Qwest Foundation made to the Red Cross.
- Qwest is providing the Red Cross with 2,000 free long-distance calling cards to distribute to families affected by the disaster.
- Qwest employees and Pioneers are actively working with the Denver and Colorado Springs chapters of the Red Cross to staff a phone bank assisting victims of the hurricane.
- In anticipation of the storm, Qwest began rerouting voice and data traffic on Sunday to mitigate disruption of service for customers.
- Qwest technicians proactively secured network infrastructure to protect against storm damage that might impact network equipment.
- On Monday, Qwest began organizing and staging vital telecommunications equipment in neighboring states in preparation for restoration efforts. Qwest has now moved this equipment into affected areas and has begun restoration work.
- Qwest technicians from neighboring states are in the affected area and those employees, some personally affected by the disaster, are actively engaged in the restoration process.
- Qwest is working with local emergency personnel to provide vital communications services during the outage.
Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE: Q) is a leading provider of high-speed Internet, data, video and voice services. With approximately 40,000 employees, Qwest is committed to the ?Spirit of Service? and providing world-class services that exceed customers? expectations for quality, value and reliability. For more information, please visit the Qwest Web site at www.qwest.com.