Crisis Management Planning Lessons from HMS

Hurricane Aerial View

For those of us who live in Florida, the memories of September 2017 are very fresh.

Just days after we had watched on television the devastating impact on Texas of the named storm Harvey, we were glued to the television watching the ever-changing path of the category 5 Hurricane, Irma.

As Floridians in the strike zone evacuated to safer locations, major employers in the state activated crisis and emergency contingency plans.

The challenge facing HMS

HMS, a leading provider of cost containment solutions to the US healthcare marketplace, had particular challenges.

Among its 250 Florida-based employees were 100 who worked from home. This posed significant hurdles to keep in touch and offer support, especially as power was likely to be wiped out during and for many days after the storm

However, unlike other organizations, HMS had prepared for this moment.

HMS deploys In Case of Crisis

Years previously, HMS had put technology in place, linking most of its employees to its emergency response platform via their smartphones.

The technology that HMS adopted to keep in touch with its people before, during and after Irma is RockDove Solutions’ award-winning crisis management platform, In Case of Crisis.

George Macrelli, HMS Senor Director of Security Assurance, a few weeks after Irma, explained how the platform worked when the worst happened to Florida:

The majority of our 2,500 company employees are enrolled on our In Case of Crisis platform. As Irma developed, we began checking with those in Florida likely to be affected and offering them help even as the hurricane was days away from making landfall.”

The power of In Case of Crisis

As Irma tracked across Florida, HMS had the ability to ask questions and share information about team members’ location and well-being, their access to power and the internet and gain assurances they were all safe.

One of the key success factors was the functionality within In Case of Crisis to share information with each employee and the fact that the functionality is loaded on the app on employees’ mobile devices.

It did not require a working cell phone service – which was just as well in those chaotic hours immediately after Irma had cut a swathe through the Sunshine State.

For more stories about the power of In Case of Crisis when the worst happens to an organization, visit our crisis management case study page.