When Natural Disasters Strike

Hurricane Dorian was a gut check for a lot of people on East Coast of the US and many of the islands in the Atlantic that were unfortunate enough to be in his path.

First, we’d like to send out our warmest regards to the Bahamas and let them know our thoughts and prayers are with them during this very difficult rebuilding time.

Having said that, we want to share with you some of the things we’ve done to ensure you and your customers are well taken care of when disaster strikes. This ensures that you can focus on yourselves and your family without worrying about your customers and your business.

We are constantly watching weather and listening to the feedback given to us not only by the 24 hour a day, 7 days a week constant vigilance and monitoring. In fact, between the local news, feedback from our customers, and trouble signals coming in, we’re often given an opportunity to be proactive about weather, rather than reactive.

One of our best weapons in the natural disaster arsenal in Stages is the ability to do Mass On Test. In fact, our operators are instructed to pay close attention when we get an influx of trouble signals. Questions they ask themselves are as follows. Are these all coming from the same dealer and/or region? Are they mostly power or battery issues? It’s on deductions such as these that enabled us to contact our dealers and do a Mass On Test for 48 hours to the Virgin Islands with the last storm before they or their customers were inundated with calls about power outages. The benefit? We only called customers with actual alarms.

As the direction of the storm becomes more pronounced our Dealer Support and our Central Station Supervisors try to reach the dealers for those regions to ask them if they’d like to place AC Power Failures and Low Battery signals on test for 24-48 hours proactively thus keeping signals at manageable levels and optimizing productivity. Keep in mind, if your phone numbers or emails are not accurate, you leave us with no way to make adjustments on your behalf.

Our Central Station staff knows that during hurricane season (or any other slow moving disaster) everyone could be placed on call at a moment’s notice and they’re prepared. Once there’s any movement towards our part of the world, a sign up sheet is posted for our operators to volunteer to come in should they be needed, but always with the understanding that an immediate threat puts all hands on deck and to have a “go” bag ready.

Our team is in constant communication with updates being given by emergency dispatch the moment they hear anything that could impact you and your customers. They share things like whether or not certain city police dispatchers are responding due to wind or rain hazards and much more and they make sure that they’re updating your customers with alarms as needed.

When Stages first launched, Regions all defaulted to TEST, which made things more challenging when a Mass On Test was needed. Fortunately Stages and our Operators have been working diligently to ensure that your accounts now reflect the correct state under “Region” and that the appropriate time zone is listed based on the address information.

The only spot left that needs attention from you and our operators are when it comes to Dispatch numbers and the assigned “relationship” field. As we’ve said countless times, just because a dispatch # is not listed doesn’t mean we won’t dispatch. It just means the inevitable is delayed, so please help us help you. Get the proper information and fill it in. If it’s a no dispatch account, just note it correctly so we know what provisions need to be made.

As always, it’s only through teamwork and communication that we succeed, so please let us know what else we can do to assist you.