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Disaster Preparedness
OmnilertDec 7, 2012 11:21:47 AM3 min read

Report: Disaster Preparedness Lessons from Hurricane Sandy

New survey data offers insights from corporate, education and government organizations.


Omnilert 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 utilizing Omnilert's solutions. The online survey was conducted on November 2-15, 2012 with a sample of 164 participants.


For details and discussion of lessons, download the free report titled Customer Insights Survey: Hurricane Sandy’s Impact & Lessons Learned.


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 the e2Campus and Amerilert multi-modalemergency notification systems to 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

Sandy’s Impact

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. “We take every opportunity to facilitate the sharing of best practices with our customers so we can all be prepared for any emergency scenario that may ensue.”


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.”