News : Call Center Industry Unites to Help Colleagues Affected by Hurricane Harvey
San Antonio, TX, USA, Sept, 2017 -- The call center industry has come together in a profound way to support its fellow colleagues who have been affected by Hurricane Harvey.
Supporting this effort is the National Amtelco Equipment Owners (NAEO) association, which has set up a Relief Fund to support its members and their employees who have been impacted by Hurricane Harvey. One hundred percent of funds collected will directly help call center employees who have been affected by the storm to purchase items they need to begin rebuilding their lives. NAEO will match contributions up to a maximum of $10,000.
TAS United, a call center and answering service with offices in San Antonio, Houston, Beaumont, and Corpus Christi, Texas, is an NAEO member that has been hit particularly hard. The company had to evacuate its Beaumont and Corpus Christi offices for the safety of its employees. With nearly half of its staff evacuating their homes or being left without power, TAS United was still processing a record level of calls for municipalities and public utility companies throughout Texas. Immediately, NAEO member call centers throughout the U.S. and Canada stepped in to provide remote agents to process these vitals calls through TAS United’s network. Since the majority of businesses in the greater Houston area were closed for nearly one week, TAS United was processing more than three times its normal call volume during that time. The NAEO members who provided agents include: Call 4 Health in Delray Beach, Florida, Stenocall in Lubbock, Texas, Dexcomm Answering and Communication Services in Carencro, Louisiana, and Intercon Messaging in Alberta, Canada.
"The destruction caused by Hurricane Harvey has impacted us at our core," said Kevin Ryan, Managing Partner – Business Development at TAS United. "Many of our employees are dealing with unimaginable loss in the wake of the storm. Our number one priority is to support these individuals - the people who make our business run successfully day in and day out - in this time of great crisis. We are grateful for the outpouring of support we have received from the call center community. Our fellow NAEO members, near and far, have graciously provided agents to help process an unprecedented number of calls. And with the launch of the NAEO Relief Fund, our team members who have lost their homes and vehicles will be able to begin buying food, water, clothing, toiletries, household items, and other basic essentials needed to start over again."
Treva Johnson, Manager of TAS United’s Beaumont office, left her home with her two teenage daughters before the storm hit. After a week of being kept from her home due to massive flooding, she finally returned to survey the damage. Her home was destroyed. Walls had separated from the floor. The bathroom floor had lifted and there was sewage everywhere. The intense Texas sun caused mold and mildew to grow throughout the wreckage of her home. Several of Ms. Johnson’s colleagues also lost their homes or had severe flood damage and are still without power and clean drinking water. Many who were unable to get out in time had to be rescued by boat from their homes. "It has been very painful," said Ms. Johnson. "Here in Beaumont, we are strong. We have been checking on each other and supporting each other. It has been amazing to see everyone pull together. All of our Beaumont employees are safe. We are all blessed to have gotten out of there with our lives."
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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