When Hurricane Irene hit the Northeast last year, thousands were left without power for weeks. There was flooding, intense winds and an abundance of rain. Many homeowners and businesses found themselves unprepared. Now, national weather forecasters are predicting a Halloween complete with "Frankenstorm" – the likely result when three storm cells converge over the East coast.
As reported by CBS News, Hurricane Sandy – relegated to a category 1 hurricane as of Thursday – is on course to collide with a wintry storm that swept over the Midwest this week. Additionally, cold air is streaming south from Canada.
In an effort to avoid some of the aftermath that followed Hurricane Irene, some areas are encouraging public utility companies to use call center answering services to keep customers fully informed during the storm and any possible recovery period.
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick told the Boston Globe that this time, the state is not taking any chances. In August, Patrick signed a bill into law that aims to improve emergency response services. According to the source, the new requirements call for organizations to use a fully staffed call center and coordinate with the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency when implementing an emergency response plan.
"People don't want to be dealing with their utilities being out for days at a time, but if it's going to be days at a time, they want to know it's going to be days at a time and not, you know, 'It's going to have it up by midnight,' and then midnight comes and goes and nothing happens," Patrick told the Globe.
Especially during dangerous storms, it's crucial for customers to be able to contact emergency services 24/7. With an answering service that implements phone, email and text messaging, an organization can ensure that a consumer will always be put in touch with a live person.