Hurricane season is here. Every year, it looms over our heads threatening to disrupt our lives. At Blackmon Mooring & BMS CAT, hurricanes and other area-wide disasters can become a central part of our lives. After fourteen years here, hurricane season has become an annual phase of my life much like back to school season or holiday seasons are for others.
Our reaction as a company to area-wide disasters has evolved over the years. Experience and technology advances are the main driving forces behind that change. One key thing we learned after Hurricane Katrina was that the location of our “command center” did not have to be at the site of the disaster. In fact, having a command center in the middle of a disaster was becoming more cumbersome than beneficial as communication tools improved. So when the next hurricane hit, our command center was at our corporate office.
What that meant is that we have to ensure that our employees in the disaster area have multiple ways to contact the command center. They receive their job notifications, account updates and general travel information through the command center. We have used satellite phones in some instances but as technology has developed we have found that often text works when email does not or vice versa.
As we continue to prepare and evolve for hurricane season, my team is training “temporary helpers” to step in and make sure our customer service is maintained even when we have additional work. We assign each helper a group of individuals who are responding to losses in the disaster area. Those helpers are their liaisons throughout the process, helping to communicate with our customers, ensuring the correct paperwork is filed and whatever else that responder might need.
The command center is kind of like summer camp for work. You get to know people you don’t get to interact with on a daily basis, you hunker down in tight quarters, eat questionably healthy meals together, work hard but have some fun the process.
Disasters have a way of bringing out the best in people and our team is no exception. I am confident that our response to each disaster will continue to improve each time. With a continued focus on the customer and their experience with our company, our command center will be poised to help our customers through an extremely difficult time.
Has your property suffered storm damage? [bpl_main_phone] today to get the help you need.