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Tami Casey Executive Interview


Background

Tami Casey has been working with Fortune 500 companies to provide solutions to the challenges of disaster recovery and asset management for 18 years. Casey has been in search of emerging technology that provides timely, accurate intelligence regarding weather events to clients while simultaneously providing asset information critical to the successful mobilization of resources. This solution addresses the major challenges faced by both asset managers and disaster recovery professionals. She believes the technology will improve all aspects of disaster recovery management, and that today the industry is closer than ever to this solution.


LBX What are the major challenges to providing disaster recovery solutions during extreme weather events?

CASEY From a disaster recovery perspective, one of the biggest challenges to managing a large portfolio of assets is being prepared for the unexpected. Understanding what resources, equipment, fuel and materials will be necessary to restore each asset are key components to properly mobilizing, cost effectively and efficiently into the impacted area. Weather monitoring is a big part of the equation.

Obtaining accurate weather information, along with the severity and precise location of the storm, is the first challenge. The second challenge is identifying a client’s assets within the area of impact. Third is identifying building information and developing an understanding of the importance and function that the building(s) and locations serve within the organization. And the last challenge is identifying resources to support the mobilization effort.

Understanding the client’s assets requires specific building data such as the square feet, year built, type of construction, power provisioning requirements, location of hazardous materials, loss history, and site contact information. The importance and function of the asset will determine how and when to respond. For example, the response to a critical building with no redundancy in the portfolio will be much different than to a location that has multiple facilities that perform the same function.

As you may imagine, this multi-step process requires analyzing a tremendous amount of data from multiple sources. Compiling real-time weather information and asset information that can be easily evaluated and shared is challenging. This evaluation is key to the success of the mobilization and recovery effort.

Disaster recovery contractors are responsible for mobilizing crews, equipment and materials to support
the recovery of clients’ assets, which is all done in advance of the storm’s point of impact. The consequences for contractors who do not accurately assess the situation are costly. Over-mobilizing crews, equipment and materials to an area can result in hundreds of thousands of dollars in cost that will not be reimbursed. On the other hand, under-mobilizing for an event will result in failure to meet clients’ expectations resulting in the loss of both immediate and future revenue.

LBX What is this nirvana of a real-time weather monitoring solution?

CASEY Weather monitoring is not new; however having the ability to compile site-specific data as well as real-time notification capabilities to all interested parties in one system is new and revolutionary. V-Alert by Earthvisionz delivers weather monitoring for specific assets while simultaneously providing building and function data.

At a glance, the information can be viewed and critical decisions made quickly and cost effectively. See Figure 1 for a dashboard view of properties by state.

This is an incredible breakthrough in disaster recovery preparation.

To give you a sense of the time sensitivity, without V-Alert, disaster recovery contractors have to manually interpret weather alerts for a region, then correlate the data related to specific assets in the portfolio. It could take anywhere from 2-4 hours to analyze the data, and only after thorough analysis and confidence in the data would the client be alerted.


FIGURE 1. This is a dashboard view of assets and related weather alerts. Graphic courtesy of Earthvisionz.
FIGURE 1. This is a dashboard view of assets and related weather alerts. Graphic courtesy of Earthvisionz.

LBX How does disaster recovery management generally work for large companies?

CASEY Many Fortune 500 companies engage multiple disaster recovery contractors in a vetting or pre-qualification process. The process is designed to identify the most-qualified or best-suited contractor for the organization. During this process the companies are evaluated based on core competencies, service area, licensing, insurance coverage, financial viability, response time and historical success in major or regional events. The overall goal of the process is to establish a relationship whereby the clients’ needs are prioritized in any future events that may transpire. Disaster recovery contractors who strive to utilize state of the art technology to be effective, efficient, and informative to clients’ needs have a distinct advantage in this process.

LBX Why is real-time weather monitoring tied to assets so important?

CASEY We all understand the devastating losses that can be realized if a company is not prepared for a weather event, both financially and from a human life perspective.

Advance warning of any event is only valuable if it is timely, accurate, and delivered to those who can put the emergency plan into action. Real-time reporting and site information allow us to make informed decisions quickly and to adapt to changing conditions.

All companies want to be sure that they are acting prudently in these situations. Implementing an emergency action plan is expensive and typically must be authorized by multiple decision makers within the organization. Each decision maker wants to be sure they are acting on the most current information available. Delays in the authorization process can cause companies to miss the small window of opportunity they have to act proactively.

Clients are relying on their disaster recovery contractor to monitor and be at the right place at the right time, but companies that take risk management seriously also monitor weather activity closely.

LBX How do you use V-Alert?

CASEY I use V- Alert every day to monitor and manage multiple national accounts and make informed decisions and recommendations quickly with confidence that I have the proper data to back my decision. V-Alert provides the opportunity for intuitive visual asset management with location intel- ligence and the capability to map unlimited datasets and take advantage of live links to street cams for any specific location. This replaces a time-consuming data crunch with a turnkey solution with little IT support necessary. See Figure 2 for dashboard view of portfolio of assets.

As I mentioned previously, a mobilization effort can be very costly and both owners and contractors must go through the process of authorizing the expense. The timely authorization of these funds depends largely on the confidence in the information and level of detailed data to support the expenditure. V-Alert reduces time-consuming evaluations and ultimately gives our clients more time to react.

A key question asked by prospective clients in the interview process is, “how do you prioritize our company and other clients during a weather event?” The only way to truly perform for all clients is to monitor weather against the portfolio.


FIGURE 2. This is a dashboard view in V-Alert of a portfolio of assets that can easily be monitored against weather events. Graphic courtesy of Earthvisionz.
FIGURE 2. This is a dashboard view in V-Alert of a portfolio of assets that can easily be monitored against weather events. Graphic courtesy of Earthvisionz.

The key components to overall recovery in weather-related disruption are to:

1. keep employees safe and productive, and

2. protect and recover assets to resume normal activities.

Employees are the responsibility of the company. Protecting and recovering the assets is the responsibility of the company and the contractor.

LBX What is the role of insurance in disaster recovery management?

CASEY Insurance covers the cost of restoring the building back to pre-loss condition based on the policy. It is the owner’s responsibility to mitigate the loss. Ultimately the owner is responsible for a timely, well-executed response. Having insurance doesn’t mean they can abdicate their responsibility.

LBX What other technologies do you use to monitor assets and weather?

CASEY In the past I used multiple weather feeds, mapping programs and building databases. Now I get all of my information in one place.

LBX Who benefits from V-Alert?

CASEY Everyone who is responsible for managing facilities will see tremendous value in managing data and risks. Advanced accurate intelligence of the threat and details of the asset that will be impacted give both the owner and recovery professionals the ability to address those challenges.

LBX Why is it so important for companies to resume normal business activities immediately after the event?

CASEY To supply goods and services to the community. In every event there is an opportunity that can only be realized when prepared. It’s a simple supply vs. demand issue. Before, during and after a weather event, inevitably supplies are low and the demand is high; this is an opportunity for those who are prepared to capitalize on the high demand. The clients I work with see the absolute benefit to the bottom line and are able to take full advantage of this opportunity while supporting the community and restoring a sense of normalcy.

It is such a huge win for their employees and the community. It is truly rewarding to assist clients in developing and implementing a disaster management plan that allows them to support the community and assist others to rebuild their lives after an event. Extreme weather is a fact of life. It’s not a question of “if” we will experience a weather event; it is “when and where.” As an industry we need to inspire people
V-Alert is a step in the right direction.


T_Casey_CV Tami Casey is National Project Director for Interstate. Casey specializes in customizing disaster recovery programs for Fortune 500 companies with large portfolios. Casey brings a history of success in limiting business interruption and confusion during losses involving res, oods, natural and manmade disasters. Casey regularly provides mitigation presentations to engineers, managers and owners in an
effort to avoid unnecessary damage during events. Casey can be reached at tcasey@interstaterestoration.com