ContactRelief Working To Refine Harvey Contact Suspensions

As we celebrate Labor Day, the effects of Hurricane Harvey continue to plague the Texas Gulf Coast.

Monday, 04 September 2017 12:00:00 -05:00

Labor Day is dedicated to celebrating the achievement of American workers. At ContactRelief, we hope that you are celebrating by enjoying some well deserved time off with your friends and family. Here though, we must continue to work on giving you the most accurate insight possible into the Hurricane Harvey disaster. With this information, you can put your customer care policy into action, offering relief to consumers and workers in the affected regions while protecting and promoting your brand image as a socially responsible corporation.

Flooding continues to plague large numbers of people along the gulf coast. Although the rivers have crested, some will remain above flood stage for some days to come. However, power outages have decreased from over 250,000 at the height of the event to 6,000 without power as of Monday (9/4/2017) at 8 AM CST. The airports have reopened, and many parts of the business community will be operating normally this week. Of course, for the people whose home's have suffered wind damage or flooded, this is small comfort.

Up to this point, ContactRelief's contact suspensions have been made at the county level. Our Disaster Decision Team has been working 24/7 to scale down our suspension recommendations from a county level to a zip code level. Our focus has been on determining the people directly impacted by this record-setting disaster event. Among the observations we are conducting, we are investigating and analyzing:

  • Satellite imagery datasets with zip code map overlays
  • Resumption of power from the various utility companies
  • Package delivery resumptions from FedEx, UPS, and the USPS
  • News and social media reporting

The image above was built by comparing before and after satellite images to detect the maximum flooding extent as a result of Harvey's historic 50 inches of rainfall. We are using this, and other similar datasets with zip code boundary overlays to determine which zip codes were most affected. Although you may want to continue your contact suspensions over a broader area for some time, ContactRelief will soon provide recommendations at the zip-code level so that you know the location of the people most directly impacted by the effects of Hurricane Harvey. Should you desire to be proactive, this may give you the opportunity to reach out to your customers and show your compassion through omnichannel messaging such as SMS, Email or web based communication.

As we move into this next phase, we welcome your feedback and input. If you have suggestions for how best we can serve you, please let know at

Thank you for the opportunity to be of service to you and your business.

Image modified by ContactRelief courtesy: Brakenridge, G.R. and Kettner, A. J., 09/02/2017, "DFO Flood Event 4510", Dartmouth Flood Observatory, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado, USA,

Weather alerts, emergencies, and breaking news are monitored around the clock. The Disaster Decision Engine applies your rules to help you decide when to take action for your consumers. Your recommendations are sent to your contact centers and partners with ZIP Code granularity.