Founder & CEO of BuildingLink.com
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90 West Street Building Links in To Safety via BuildingLink's New Emergency Broadcast
BuildingLink's beta Emergency Phone Message Broadcast System made its "trial-by-flood" early debut during an evacuation situation occurring at 90 West Street in Manhattan.
A deluge of rain caused overworked sewers at nearby Ground Zero to overflow, resulting in nonworking utilities and flooding in 90 West's sub-basement parking garage. The New York City Housing and Preservation Department ordered the building to close until full service was restored.
As the NYC Housing Department's order-to-vacate went into effect, so did BuildingLink's new bank of phone message servers and dialers. Although still in its beta testing stage, the emergency broadcasting system received an unexpected trial run--successfully launching evacuation announcements to more than 575 resident home phones and cell phones in less than twenty minutes.
Thanks to BuildingLink's rapid response, the building's management kept residents informed of rapidly changing information, such as temporary hotel accommodations, insurance claims, and animal kennels for their pets and services provided by The American Red Cross.
BuildingLink's Emergency Phone Message Broadcast System is a vital addition to BuildingLink's already high-performance web-based platform for empowering property operations. Featuring a dialer capable of making 50 calls a minute; the average building can contact an entire resident population within 5-10 minutes of sending out an emergency announcement.
"We recognized a need for this system after the recent steam pipe explosion in midtown Manhattan. Thousands of residents were not allowed to return to their buildings for several hours and building workers were stuck with the tedious task of calling each resident individually to inform them of the emergency. Our broadcast system will alleviate these problems," said BuildingLink's President, Jerry Kestenbaum.
Lee Rosen, 90 West Street's building manager, says that he was swamped with resident e-mail inquiries on the day of the flooding. BuildingLink's e-mail blast "worked like a charm," rescuing his staff from the tedious and time-consuming task of individually responding to hundreds of e-mails and telephone messages from residents.
Rosen especially appreciates the customized dialing feature, enabling the broadcast system to leave a voice mail announcement on every telephone number that a resident has listed with the building.
How does the system work? Each night, BuildingLink's web database downloads residents' telephone numbers directly to their broadcast system. Authorized building management personnel can access the system from any phone to send emergency broadcasts, and can access the system's web interface to create custom notification lists, for example to notify only residents in the "D" and "E" lines of a water shut down. Mobile numbers can also be included during a high-level emergency situation.
BuildingLink tracks and reports call progress and status so that building management is aware of which residents have been contacted and which residents require additional contact.