Through the Storm: How ASD Prepares for Major Weather Events
Article originally appeared on ASD – Answering Service for Directors
Unlike other professionals, Funeral Directors cannot take a break simply because of inclement weather. During snow storms, earthquakes, hurricanes and floods, our clients have proven their commitment time and time again by going out into inclement weather to help families in need or working with churches and even competitors to coordinate services. At ASD, we are continually inspired by the dedication of funeral directors. We know that our clients rely on us more than ever during major weather events which is why we take every precaution to provide your firm with seamless telephone protection through any storm.
Currently, ASD is preparing in advance for Winter Storm Jonas which is expected to dump more than a foot of snow on the Northeast over the weekend. Although this storm is predicted to be a powerful blizzard, we have every confidence that our operations will run at full capacity with no disruption of service. While ASD has certainly weathered countless snowstorms and hurricanes in the past, we have greatly enhanced our weather response plan over the past several years to increase our safeguards and redundancies.
In 2007, ASD moved from our old building to our current location in Media, PA. We searched for a building for more than five years that met both our safety and technological requirements. Our newly constructed, solid brick building is not located near any flood plains or low-lying trees. Our facility houses countless fiber optic cables reaching multiple carriers. This ensures that a disruption of service on any carrier’s network will not disable ASD’s operations. In the event of an outage, ASD can reroute all calls to a working network.
During inclement weather, funeral homes throughout the country are often impacted by power outages and communication problems resulting in a higher call volume. ASD adjusts our staffing levels in advance of these events so that your calls are answered without delay. Employees with four-wheel drive often carpool to help others make it into the office safely. During a State of Emergency event such as Hurricane Sandy, ASD maintains an open-door policy and provides accommodations so our staff and their families can stay overnight at ASD if necessary. During both Hurricane Sandy and Irene, more than 40 ASD employees camped out and took calls in the morning to protect our clients’ sensitive calls throughout the storm.
ASD currently has more than 80 remote computer stations, ensuring our staff can still work from home when travel conditions are hazardous. This represents a significant investment to ensure our service is protected from weather-related events.
Additionally, our two fully automatic redundant power generation systems are each capable of supplying ASD’s power needs until local electricity is restored. These systems are tested weekly to ensure they are ready when we need them. During Hurricane Sandy, a hospital was left without power because their only generator failed. ASD’sredundant power system is just another example of our commitment to your funeral home.