Hurricane Michael Recovery Update

ContactRelief makes recommendations for contact centers

Saturday, October 20, 2018 9:00:00 AM -05:00

Hurricane Michael Update

Ten days ago Hurricane Michael struck the Florida Panhandle near Mexico Beach as a Category 5 hurricane with winds topping 155 mph. The storm then moved through southwest Georgia, the Carolinas, and Virginia creating a path of destruction with recovery costs ranging from $6 to 10 billion dollars (see Figure 1 below). Thirty people are reported to have died as a result of the storm.

Figure 1: A map showing Minor to Extreme Hurricane Damage from Hurricane Michael
Figure 1: Minor to Extreme Hurricane Damage from Hurricane Michael

Recovery efforts began on schedule after Michael sped through the area as a Tropical Storm but were hampered by the severe power outages left in the storm's wake. Power outages continue in parts of Florida with 85,000 customers still without power and in southwestern Georgia with 8,200 customers affected. In other areas as shown in Figure 2 below, power is completely restored.

Figure 1: A map showing power outages affecting Florida and Georgia as of October 10th, 2018 at 9:00 AM.
Figure 2: Power Outages as of 10/20/2018

While economic losses from agricultural damage will be a significant part of the total recovery costs, the losses to individual consumers should not be underestimated with multiple coastal areas in the landfall region suffering complete devastation. FEMA issued Disaster Declarations for Michael and is offering individual assistance to homeowners to repair damaged homes in the areas shown in Figure 3 below.

Figure 1: A map showing areas offered FEMA Individual Assistance for Hurricane Michael damage.
Figure 3: Areas offered FEMA Individual Assistance for Hurricane Michael

Moderate to extreme damage occurred in isolated areas across the storm track but is concentrated in Florida and southwestern Georgia (see Figure 4 below). Complete recovery will take many months, but a return to normalcy for most of the affected states except Florida will occur within a few weeks.

Figure 1: A map showing areas in Florida, Georgia, the Carolinas, andf Virginia with moderate to extreme hurricane damage from Hurricane Michael.
Figure 4: Moderate, Severe, and Extreme Damage from Hurricane Michael.
ContactRelief Recommendations for Contact Centers

ContactRelief is making public recommendations made to ContactRelief subscribers on Friday, October 19th, 2018.

ContactRelief has continued to refine the recommended contact suspension zone due to Hurricane Michael over the last ten days. Minor Hurricane Damage alerts have been lifted as the affected residents have had time to assess the impact and make appropriate plans, but we have left moderate, severe, and extreme alerts in place for now. We expect to lift these alerts over the coming days starting with areas in Virginia and working backward toward landfall in Florida.

ContactRelief recommends continued suspension of contact with large areas of the Florida panhandle and southwestern Georgia having the most severe hurricane damage and isolated areas in the South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia (see title graphic). We also recommend that you implement specialized handling for Hurricane Michael victims especially if your customer care policy is to resume contact as soon as possible after a disaster. To obtain the list of affected zip codes, become a ContactRelief subscriber today.

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