By Tim Larroux, Executive Account Manager In Long Term Care Access Services For Xerox Government Healthcare Solutions

With some areas receiving up to two feet of rain, parts of Texas and Louisiana are seeing some of the worst flooding ever. Some rivers are cresting at all-time highs. This slow motion disaster continues to wreak havoc – closing Interstates, unearthing caskets and destroying everything in its path.

Unfortunately, not everyone is as prepared as they need to be, or able to react as fast as necessary. Like the wheelchair-bound woman who was evacuated from her home – leaving behind much needed medical equipment she needed for dialysis. With healthcare providers’ offices flooding and the waters destroying their ability to locate people, medical crises were mounting.

In Louisiana, Xerox works with the state Office of Aging and Adult Services, which provides long term care assessments for the elderly and disabled. A social worker from Xerox makes an in-home visit to some of the neediest people in the state. But when an emergency is rolling your way, how do you quickly notify 3,800 people?

Help 3,800 People Stay Safe

With flood waters rising, some of the people who needed the most help were in the most danger. While state officials were doing everything in their power to prepare for the worst, Xerox was able to get information and directions to the elderly or disabled people who we support for the Office of Aging and Adult Services.

Nearly 60 in-home visits were already scheduled. During those assessments, our staff checked on their well-being and ensured their immediate safety. Individuals received directions on who to call, where to go and what to do. But we realized we’d never be able to notify each of the state’s clients that we support with in-person visits, so our telephone and field staff began calling the folks in our database. The purpose of the calls was to ensure the clients were aware of the flooding, provide information on Red Cross services, shelters, emergency management assistance and what to do if they were in imminent danger. These efforts reached 760 individuals. With danger still approaching and another 2,300 calls to make, we needed a quicker and more efficient way.

In the photo above, Xerox people took to the phones to notify more than 700 elderly and disabled people on how to stay safe and where to go for help.

We usually use our automated outbound dialer to remind recipients of their assessment appointments. We modified the message to provide information about the looming danger, what to do, where to go and who to call for help.

We’ve helped nearly 4,000 people, including the woman who left her medical supplies behind. Working with the state, we tracked down her provider, who was working from her cell phone in the parking lot of her flooded building. We connected the dots ensuring the provider brought the necessary supplies to the dialysis patient at a local Red Cross shelter.

We are already making plans for the next disaster. Whether it’s a hurricane, heavy rains, flooding or anything else, we will be ready to provide the citizens we support with the information they will need to stay safe.