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  • July 2016 Client Newsletter banner

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Kenyon Weathers the 2017 Hurricane Season

Kenyon is in the business of supporting clients in their responses to crises and interruptions to daily operations; however, we too experience disasters and disruptions of our own.

For the Northern Hemisphere, this hurricane season has been especially active and unpredictable. Sadly, few places along the United States Gulf Coast were spared from strong storm conditions and catastrophic loss. Multiple Caribbean islands also suffered several direct hits and devastation.

Not only do we advocate for business continuity, we also practice it. It is in times like these that a business continuity plan must be ready, prepared and practiced because preparation time is often not long enough and recovery periods typically last for months or years. We have seen businesses that were prepared rebound quickly from a crisis, but we have also seen those that were not prepared struggle unnecessarily – or fail to recover completely.

Kenyon and its staff took direct hits from Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria at our office in north Houston, Texas and our call center in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Because of the preparation, work and Kenyon best practices, we maintained complete business operations. We also sincerely appreciate all of the clients that have reached out to assess our status and well-being. For those clients that are not aware, below is a brief update on our operations affected by the recent hurricanes.

Houston

The Kenyon office sustained flooding damage that required immediate remediation and repair. Staff quickly responded to remove remaining floodwater and identify equipment in need of replacing. Minimal Kenyon equipment was damaged and the Kenyon team quickly worked to check all other equipment. Arrangements were made for the removal of damaged walls and furniture in order to rebuild the offices. We expect this process to be complete soon; however, we must wait until November for replacement furniture. In the meantime, the Kenyon staff continues to work remotely to support global operations and response, as we have several ongoing operations. Part of our plan includes being able to work remotely. Very fortunately, all staff and their homes in the Houston area were safe throughout the storm and subsequent flooding. Kenyon donated equipment and supplies, including generators and chainsaws to those without power and those needing recovery assistance.

Dominican Republic

As two major hurricanes passed our call center facility, we prepared for the potential closure of the building and maintained a transition plan to an alternate call center that was not affected by the severe weather. With the recent upgrade of our Kenyon Response® software, the ability to transfer the scripted call center agent module is much more seamless and efficient. We were fortunate, however, that throughout both hurricanes we were able to maintain a dedicated team at the call center to handle any call center activations.

The facility where the call center is located is a hurricane-rated building, which has been audited by several client teams, and is reinforced to sustain the intense winds of these types of storms. The center is equipped with backup power and communication services to support ongoing business operations should the local infrastructure fail. Still, we maintained a backup with contingency plans at an alternate call center. Kenyon staff closely monitored the situation in the Dominican Republic during both storms and kept in constant contact with leadership at the facility.

While there have been challenging times over the last three months, the circumstances and their consequences are not new for Kenyon. Our business continuity plans have been tested in the past and we expect they will be tested again in the future. During the course of these major storms, Kenyon was either working on active operations or activated for new operations for four clients globally without strain on our resources. We remain reassured that our operations were not interrupted following any of these storms, and grateful that our staff members were safe.

A Note from Kenyon

Following the hurricanes (Harvey, Irma and Maria), the wildfires in the US and the devastating global earthquakes, we wanted to take a moment to express our hope that those of you involved are safe.

Our thoughts are with you as we all come together to aid in the rebuilding