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CMCI Blog

Success Story: Emergency Move Post-Hurricane

Tuesday, September 01, 2020



With hurricane season in full swing, businesses all along the Gulf Coast have begun making preparations in case their workplaces are affected by a natural disaster. Taking precautions such as boarding up windows and moving important resources to high shelves are obviously good ideas, but sometimes no amount of office prep can guarantee your company makes it out of the ordeal unscathed. During Hurricane Ike, a large energy corporation in Houston experienced this first-hand. Here is how it remediated its calamity and ensured employees could continue work as soon as possible.

When Hurricane Ike hit Houston, it severely damaged the roof of the building the corporation was leasing, and seven floors had undergone serious water damage as a result. Luckily, CMCI had recently facilitated this company’s corporate relocation, so when the Facilities Manager needed someone he trusted to rescue the company’s assets without delay, he called us. When our team arrived, the client told us that three floors had been flooded out, so we would need to remove the furniture and employee belongings immediately. As an added obstacle, we needed to coordinate the movers to work around the clock so the building repairs could begin as quickly as time allowed, and the growth of mold could be avoided. The aftereffects of the hurricane in Houston were extensive, so we knew that finding guaranteed manpower to move over 75,000 square feet[1] would be tricky. We immediately started contacting our vendors to ensure we could meet the client’s needs. After a bit of negotiation, we were able to secure the services of our client’s choice in movers for a fair price.

Now that the immediate task was handled, we moved on to organizing a temporary space for employees to work. Our client wanted its staff to be able to come back and work in small spaces until the floors could be rebuilt. Unfortunately, in the aftermath of a natural disaster, employees can have a hard time adjusting to a temporary work environment without the familiar comforts of the old office. Since there was not enough room available in the interim space for superfluous items, we knew we had to manage expectations of the client and the staff upon their return. After consulting with the client about staff necessities and requirements, we agreed that each employee would be supplied a desk arranged by department with their computer and desktop belongings. The rest was thoroughly inventoried, labeled, and packed for storage.

While the instinctual way to pack during a crisis is to quickly jumble items together in boxes and ship them to storage, CMCI knows better. We made sure to keep a detailed inventory of everything so that if the client needed anything, we could easily find it. This meant that we documented the location of thousands of objects, highlighting their origin, who owned them, and more. Taking it a step further, we prioritized employees’ desk items to be easily accessible in storage by designating shelf space to these boxes and ensuring they could be reached without having to move furniture and equipment. Our tireless planning and organization was proved essential when an employee of our client needed her passport to go on a work trip out of the country, but remembered it had been stored in a drawer of her desk before Hurricane Ike damaged their office space. We eased her panic by taking a quick look at our inventory and instantly finding her passport.

The business world does not stop when your assets are damaged, and a large corporation must quickly find a way to get back to work and stay on top of its responsibilities. We were able to mitigate a great deal of stress for our client during a crisis and helped keep the corporation in business at its most vulnerable. Move Consultants are a great asset to have when the unexpected happens. When your office space is compromised and the livelihood of everyone employed by your company is at risk, you do not want to stumble through the task of rescuing your resources on your own. Connect with an experienced, well-vetted Move Consultant who can handle your corporation’s needs. When disaster strikes, you will know where to turn.