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Hurricane Earl Reminds Businesses to Hurricane Proof Their Business with VoiceNation

Buford, GA - The last major hurricane to come this close to North Carolina's Outer Banks was Hurricane Isabel in 2003. At which time VoiceNation was contracted by Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina to host its phone lines in the event that communications were to go down due to the hurricane. VoiceNation was contacted by the company to prepare five toll free phone numbers for the health care provider. Blue Cross’ more than 3,000 employees dialed in via the disaster recovery lines to keep apprised of information and instructions. The company’s executives were able to connect with one of VoiceNation's local data centers in North Carolina where calls could be handled by VoiceNation's Raleigh answering service.

As expected all phone communication was lost in the area. Fortunately they had planned ahead to have their calls come through VoiceNation. Had they not had a back-up plan in place their recovery efforts would have come to a screeching halt.

VoiceNation, the premier provider of hosted voicemail, virtual pbx and answering service, announced today the results of a study that exposed shortfalls in most companies’ disaster recovery planning regarding critical voice communications. The result is that many organizations risk severe financial hardship and business disruption in the face of a disaster, natural or otherwise. Key findings included:

  • 95% of companies agreed that there was a critical need for business continuity planning for voice communications
  • Only 2% confirmed they had such a plan for their business.
  • 100% stated daily operations would be interrupted if phones were shut down for an extended period.

The results of this study prove the lack of importance many companies place on their voice communications emergency planning in the face of potential terrorism, pandemics, storms and other threats.

The telemarketing survey contacted 400 companies across the country, in industries including manufacturing, shipping, electronics, general contracting and real estate. The survey found that while 381 out of the 400 companies agreed that there was a critical need for some sort of emergency plan if they lost their voice communication platform, only 6 out of the 400 businesses actually had some sort of plan in place. The most startling fact is that 100% of the companies surveyed stated that they would have to shut down for the day if their phones were shut down for an extended period.

Hurricane Proof Your Business

VoiceNation President, Jay Reeder recommends that companies reevaluate their communication plans for natural disasters. Lessons from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita include the need for businesses to:

  • Create secondary and even third-order alternatives for critical communication systems such as phones, email and web sites
  • Establish a publicized toll-free number to ease the strain on employees of determining whether they need to go to work as usual, stay at home or leave for remote work locations immediately
  • Arrange for a live answering service to take messages for the business or offer trained operators to answer calls and provide updates to employees during an evacuation
  • Provide on-line employee registration to facilitate locating dispersed staff
  • Contract for remote or live answering assistance to continue to assist customers with questions or orders by phone while the company regroup

Reeder continues, "Companies can't afford not to back up their voice services. Many don't realize how affordable it is. VoiceNation has most clients completely protected in about a week. Our simple but robust system can handle everything from rerouting calls to your employees to backing up incoming fax orders or sending all voicemail to email. Today's technology can take care of your communication needs in a crisis."

Discover more about communications solutions that work no matter what the weather--read VoiceNation's article, "Nine Ways to Hurricane Proof Your Business."

VoiceNation's disaster recovery clients include: FEMA, AIG, and Time Warner Cable.

About VoiceNation:
VoiceNation, America's leader in virtual PBX and voicemail was founded in 2002 by President Jay Reeder and opened their Next Generation call centers in 2009. The company has grown to serve more than 40,000 customers including FEMA, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Dell, AIG and the U.S. Coast Guard. They leverage the very latest in proprietary technology solutions in order to deliver quality call answering services at the lowest cost to their customers. To learn more about VoiceNation and their services, please visit http://www.voicenation.com/.