Where in the world is Santa Claus? That’s a question millions of children ask on Christmas Eve.
On the big night, the answer will be only a toll-free call away. Verizon Business is teaming with the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) to provide a special free hotline for children and their parents to speak with a volunteer at the famed military center.
Starting Dec. 24 at 2 a.m. Mountain time through 3 a.m. Mountain time on Dec. 25, children across the U.S. and Canada can call 877-HI-NORAD to determine Santa’s exact location on Christmas Eve. (Callers outside North America can reach the NORAD Tracks Santa hotline by dialing the local Colorado Springs number at 719-556-5211 using the appropriate country code. International charges can apply.)
More than 1,200 volunteers, military personnel from Colorado Springs, their families and friends, and NORAD Tracks Santa corporate sponsor team members will man the NORAD Santa tracking hotline to ensure children know the whereabouts of Santa on Christmas Eve. In 2008, nearly 74,000 calls were answered at the NORAD Tracks Santa Operations Center at Peterson Air Force Base.
Children also can visit the NORAD Tracks Santa website, which provides real-time information on Santa’s exact location. The information is available in English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Spanish and Chinese — complete with radar maps and streaming SantaCam video images documenting Santa’s global journey.
This year, Santa also can be tracked through Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, and TroopTube.tv.
NORAD, the binational U.S. and Canadian military organization responsible for the aerospace defense of both countries, has tracked Santa around the globe on Christmas Eve for more than 50 years. The tradition started by accident in 1955 after a local newspaper misprint prompted children to call the Continental Air Defense Command (NORAD’s predecessor) instead of a special Santa hotline phone number.