Mar 16, 2017
Winter Storm Stella was the biggest and most widespread snowstorm of 2017, impacting more than 13 states on the East Coast and nine states in the Midwest. Many funeral homes throughout the country were affected by power outages and hazardous road conditions. Our clients rely on us more than ever during major weather events. For this reason, ASD is always very vigilant about tracking and preparing ahead. This is because storms like Stella affect our day-to-day operations in multiple ways. We must take measures to ensure that our staff is able to work through the storm without risking their safety. At the same time, we must monitor our call volume and schedule our employees accordingly to ensure calls are answered without delay.
As Winter Storm Stella moved up the East Coast on Tuesday, ASD staff handled a total of 19,132 calls, including more than 1,600 First Calls. Despite local power outages and hazardous conditions outside, ASD performed at full capacity before, during and after Winter Storm Stella moved through our area. Our staff answered 94% of calls on 1st ring and 99% by the 4th ring!
Over 85 ASD employees assisted with calls on Tuesday, much more than on an average day. We track statistical information through our exclusive RingTracker™ feature to help forecast daily averages and ensure that every call is answered promptly. ASD promotes an all-hands-on-deck approach during major weather events when we can predict a higher than average call volume. Employees in our billing, sales and marketing teams are called upon to help answer calls. While some of our staff works remotely from home, others camp out over night at ASD.
During a State of Emergency event, ASD maintains an open-door policy and provides accommodations so our staff and their families can stay overnight at ASD if necessary. Here’s a photo of one of the cots that was set up in our office on Monday night. Although we have over 80 remote stations, we always make sure to have a fully staffed office to ensure we are protected by our on-site generators if our area loses power and our employees can’t connect to our systems from home.
ASD is incredibly fortunate to have a team of hardworking and dedicated Call Specialists that understand how important it is for families to speak to someone immediately when they call a funeral home. So many of our employees stepped up to work extra hours in order to ensure ASD was fully protected throughout the storm. Their commitment to providing funeral homes with the highest level of protection is what has allowed us to help funeral homes during some of the worst extreme weather events of the past, including Hurricane Irene and Hurricane Sandy.
While ASD has certainly weathered many 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. Click here to learn more about how our onsite generators, remote computer stations and powerful data center provides your firm with seamless telephone protection through any storm.
Although winter weather certainly presents many challenges and many are relieved the storm has passed, there is no denying how beautiful and pure the snow makes everything look. We took several photos around our building to share our Stella scenes with you. Be sure to follow our brand new Instagram page for more photos of Life at ASD.
A few snowy shots of our building and property.
Winter Storm Stella has temporarily transformed our ASD Gazebo Zen Garden into the ASD Ice Palace. It might not be the best weather for relaxing outside, but our new office Gazebo looks so pretty covered in snow.
Funeral Directors Share Scenes from Stella with ASD
They say a picture says a thousand words and this picture certainly says a lot about how problematical winter weather can be! The photo, taken by Funeral Director, Kevin Lesjack, of Kevin M. Lesjack Funeral Home in Forest City, PA, really shows just hard Winter Storm Stella hit our state. We thought we had a lot of snow down here, but our friends upstate definitely got hit a lot harder with over 33 inches of snow recorded!
A gorgeous photo captured by Funeral Director, Leonard Scarr of Scarr Funeral Home in Suffern, NY that shows the funeral home in the middle of Winter Storm Stella. We love this image of a funeral home building standing proud and strong in the midst of a storm. “Our Funeral Home is always open no matter what the circumstances are,” Leonard says.
We’re blessed to serve such dedicated clients who extend themselves above and beyond to remain available to families in their time of need. Thank you to everyone that contacted us to make sure we were okay or left a comment on our social sites to show your support during the storm. We were especially touched by this comment left on our facebook page by Karen DeVine Taglia of Francis P. Devine Funeral Home in Oyster Bay, NY:
“Thank you! You handled a first call for me during the storm, my confidence in you to take my calls allowed me to be home with my own family!”
To everyone who was hit hard by the storm, please let us know if there is anything ASD can do to help you return to normalcy. We are sending warm thoughts of spring and summer your way. We’re hoping that that worst of winter is over, but if bad weather returns, ASD will be prepared. Our commitment to serving you and your community is paramount. We leave nothing to chance when it comes to protecting your firm’s sensitive calls.
About The Author
Jess Farren (Fowler)
Jess Farren (Fowler) is a Public Relations Specialist and Staff Writer who has been a part of the ASD team since 2003. Jess manages ASD’s company blog and has been published in several funeral trade magazines. She has written articles on a variety of subjects including communication, business planning, technology, marketing and funeral trends. You can contact Jess directly at Jess@myASD.com