Working in and for the security industry, one repeatedly hears the commitments and missions to protect lives. The relationship between an alarm dealer and its customers depends on customers knowing there is someone looking out for them when they’ll need it most.
But what happens when those tasked with securing people, their homes and businesses suffer the same devastation as their customers? Hurricane Sandy and its aftermath posed complex challenges for security companies: from the interminable lines at gas stations putting service vehicles out of commission to damages to their own facilities.
Even so, security companies on the East Coast and across the country are working double- and triple-time to get back to work and get people’s security systems working again. And they are doing so with the help of committed employees and of the security industry community.
In a message to its members, ESA noted, “It’s a reminder that when natural disasters occur, it’s our time to shine. When others are going through the worst, we will be at our best.
“Downed power lines and other problems impede the ability of security companies to do their job after a hurricane, tornado or earthquake. But it doesn’t stop us from reaching out, contacting customers, determining their needs, and becoming an important part of the solution.”
Security companies relied on partners in areas not affected by Sandy. DICE Corporation, Bay City, Mich., had more than 270,000 accounts running in the Bay City Disaster Recovery center during the worst of last week’s storm. Some of those accounts were on standby mode— with DICE stepping in case of signal transmission overflow. Others required additional assistance. On Oct. 31, the company stated, “Today we took another alarm monitoring center live in Bay City. This time is was a center completely fried by electrical surge. Every computer, receiver, network switch, and telco equipment was out of commission. We will host this sizable alarm company for about a month while all equipment is replaced.”
Some NYBFAA members shared their experiences with ESA. "I've spoken to a bunch of folks that are still withoutpower," said Jason Etter of Albany, N.Y.-based AVX Integrated Technologies. "We got our back early this morning [Monday, Nov. 5]. The lines for gas are one of the biggest stories out of this. Everyone is scrambling to get generators, gas, etc."
Another member, New York, N.Y.-based Amerigard Alarm & Security Corp. CEO Richard Cantor, said, "Not only were we affected personally [by Hurricane Sandy], but our companies and our clients were as well. Many were wiped out completely or partially off the map. We are doing all we can — even reaching out to the authorities to see if we can help them. But for now, it is back to the clean up and caring for those who need it."
Vendors located in the N.Y. area who suffered damages due to the storm remained dedicated to getting back to supporting its customers.
Speco Technologies, Amityville, N.Y., suffered power outages during the storm, but said on Sunday, Nov. 4, that it was reopening its doors to service and support its customers. Due to the aftermath of the storm, Speco experienced some power outages on loss of communication through its email servers and phone systems.
Mobotix was hit hard by the storm at its New York office located in Lower Manhattan. The building took in 2 million gallons of water during the storm and this has affected power and other key building infrastructure. Mobotix expects the office will remain closed throughout the month of November. The office phones were re-routed to Germany for both sales and technical support, though the company noted the best way to reach them is still via email: technical support firstname.lastname@example.org, order entry and inquires email@example.com, and sales inquiries firstname.lastname@example.org.
ESA added, “As security industry professionals, we understand that getting an alarm system running again is not going to happen overnight in some cases. But that’s when it’s especially important to reassure our customers that interruptions in service will be addressed as quickly as possible, and their homes, businesses, valuables and personal safety will be protected through our quick actions.”
Honeywell, Morristown, N.J., is donating more than $600,000 in first responder products to aid in relief and recovery efforts in areas devastated by Hurricane Sandy. The company, which makes Morning Pride turnout gear for first responders, will donate more than 19,000 personal protective products including protective footwear, gloves, hoods and helmets, designed to weather the most arduous conditions first responders face every day. The protective gear will be distributed via the Nassau County Office of Emergency Management in Long Island, N.Y., to first responder teams in affected areas in N.Y and N.J.
Honeywell also announced the Honeywell Humanitarian Relief Fund (HHRF) has been deployed to support employees who have been affected by the devastating hurricane. Support will initially include immediate cash assistance for food, clothing, and shelter to employees who have been temporarily displaced. Honeywell will also match employee contributions to HHRF dollar for dollar.
Let us know how Sandy affected your business. E-mail associate editor Sabrina Gasulla at email@example.com and tell us your story. We will be providing updates through our website and social media.