Report: Disaster preparedness lessons from Hurricane Sandy
Omnilert®, LLC today released results from a post-event survey featuring insights and lessons learned after Hurricane Sandy. The survey respondents represented schools, businesses, non-profits, and government agencies from the company's customer base. The online survey was conducted on November 2-15, 2012 with a sample of 164 customers participating.
For details and discussion of lessons, the free report titled Customer Insights Survey: Hurricane Sandy's Impact & Lessons Learned can be downloadedat www.omnilert.com/sandysurvey.
Key Lessons Learned
Overall, Omnilert's customers were well prepared for the storm. These are organizations that have active emergency preparedness programs in place and have implemented emergency notification systemsto facilitate interactive communication across a variety of media: SMS text messaging, email, voice messages, social media, desktop alerts, PA systems, digital signage, and more. A summary of the preparedness lessons learned include:
Predefine contingencies Take forecasts seriously Update your data before an event occurs Secure materials and supplies in advance Spring into action quickly Encourage personal preparedness Send clear, simple and frequent communications Tailor messages to the medium Multimodal communications are crucial Don't panic: Prepare for the worst and hope for the best
About half of the survey respondents reported direct disruptions to their operations from the storm. Fortunately, only 6.8 percent reported significant and continuing major disruptions. About one fifth (19.3 percent) experienced major disruptions during the storm but minor aftereffects. The remaining 23.6 percent experienced only minor disruptions during the storm.
Where Sandy struck, the numbers of people affected tended to be large. Of the customers who told us they were impacted by the storm, about half (50.6 percent) had more than 1,000 people affected and 17.7 percent had 5,000 or more of their people affected. The most serious lingering disruptions were caused by flooding, water leaks, and extended power outages.
"This survey reinforces the importance of utilizing as many forms of communications possible to keep communities safe, informed, and aware of the situation," noted Ara Bagdasarian, CEO of Omnilert.
“Even in areas unaffected directly by the storm, respondents felt the impact. Many used the event for training and emergency preparedness drills. One explained, "We took the opportunity to put the Super Storm Sandy information into drills and training scenarios."
Omnilert, LLC develops intuitive communication technologies that keep communities safe and connected. The privately held company is headquartered in Leesburg, Va., and at http://www.omnilert.com/online.