Critical Matters

Surviving the Storm: Hurricane Sandy

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Hurricane Sandy will go down on record as one of the most devastating and costly storms to hit the northeastern portion of the U.S. It will also long be remembered by the Cassidian Communications team as one of the busiest, but most rewarding times in the company's 40-year history.

Before the hurricane made landfall, countless public and private sector clients activated their emergency notification systems, proactively alerting people of impending danger. Authorities advised residents to take the necessary precautions to ensure their safety, and in many instances, to evacuate their homes, all while mobilizing emergency response teams, volunteers and others. Companies executed their business continuity/disaster recovery plans in an effort to minimize the storm's impact, letting employees know of office closures and accounting for them, one by one, after it and the following nor'easter passed.

Among the many Cassidian Communications products used during these two events were the VESTA® Pallas™, VESTA® CS, VESTA® DMS and IP-enabled Sentinel® Patriot® 9-1-1 call processing solutions. Others included the ORION™ Vela® geospatial application and Aurora® MIS (reporting) solution. As indicated by usage reports, customer feedback and media briefings, these mission-critical applications enabled Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) throughout the Northeast to manage emergency and administrative calls, even when volumes were at their highest.

In a televised interview on October 29, 2012, Mayor Bloomberg of New York reported approximately 10,000 calls coming into the City's PSAPs every half hour. Accordingly, he urged residents to call 9-1-1 only in an absolute emergency, freeing call takers to provide assistance to those in dire need. Numerous other PSAPs across several states also saw a surge in call center activity exercising their Cassidian Communications-provided solutions around the clock.

As Mary Wathen, chief operating officer for Cassidian Communications' Crisis Communications Solutions and Services division, said in our November 16 press release,

"Watching our team in action, providing 24/7 technical support and continuously monitoring the performance of 9-1-1 systems throughout the Northeast, was truly one of the most rewarding moments in my professional career. I could not be more proud of our people and their desire to help others in their time of need. The recovery efforts of our 1,300+ public and private sector clients, as well as the tremendous work of our own employees, are things I will simply never forget.”

Just as the clean-up and restoration efforts continue for those affected by these back-to-back storms, so too does the work of your Cassidian Communications team. We might be thousands of miles away from the disaster, but we are always as close as a phone call or email.

Your critical matters to us.

When time allows, you can read our full November 16 press release, "Cassidian Communications Recognizes Public and Private Sector Clients throughout Northeast for Tireless Work during Hurricane Sandy and Nor'Easter,"