One of the more recent communities to choose Hyper-Reach for critical event management is Allen, Texas, a city of more than 100,000 people about 25 miles northeast of Dallas.
Allen is a booming community. From its start in 1876, its population stayed in the hundreds into the 1950’s, then exploded in the last few decades. Among the many things Allen is known for is the largest football stadium in the US built for a single high school – a $60 million, 18,000 seat capacity facility where the Allen Eagles are undefeated. It’s also the location of the first train robbery in Texas.
Like the rest of Texas, Allen was hammered with bitter cold and snow in mid-February, shutting off the power, setting off fire alarms, and forcing city offices to close. City services, such as trash collection, were interrupted. And the 911 center was flooded with calls about lost power. The city opened shelters from the cold and had to keep citizens informed of evolving issues and progress in resolving them.
Fortunately, the city had selected Hyper-Reach for mass emergency notification services just a few months earlier, allowing it to keep employees and citizens informed.
But to send messages out – especially for internal communication – the communications department first had to create contact groups to send the right message to the right people. And because the system was new, it was still a little unfamiliar.
“Hyper-Reach’s customer service was incredibly responsive”, said Shellie Taylor, Communications Manager. “Our contact person, Chris, made herself available several times a day and even after hours, to make sure we knew what we were doing. Her support was both phenomenal and reassuring.”
“And the system itself was simple to use. It was super easy to import information. On the first day, we created 45 separate groups in about an hour and a half.”
Deputy Chief Ken Myers, credits the system with being much more efficient and effective than prior communication methods.
“In the past, we’ve used calling trees, but with Hyper-Reach, we could let one individual send out mass messages quickly by email, text, home phone and cell phones. Which meant we were able to get the word out much more quickly than before.”
Taylor agrees: “Hyper-Reach has genuinely been extremely helpful and given us the ability to make notifications that we could not have done before.”
“We have heard over-and-over both internally and from residents how great the communications have been during our snow event. We could not have done it without you!” said Myers.
February’s crazy weather is just the beginning of how Hyper-Reach will help the city of Allen.
“When we were first looking at the system, said Myers, “we were trying to resolve a specific dispatch issue. But when we saw everything it could do, it was clear that it could do everything we needed and more.”
“Once we saw what Hyper-Reach was capable of, it seemed perfect for city-wide use. So we got other departments to look at it, including the city managers. As soon as they saw it, almost everyone was in favor of getting it.”
“We’re finding more and more reasons to use it,” continued Myers. “And we really like the event notification feature. That’s going to be very helpful for events later in the year, like our big fireworks show.”
We’re gratified to be able to help the City of Allen and its citizens. And we’re grateful that we can deliver superior service for communities like Allen.
As Ken Myers said: “We are so glad we made the right choice by going with Hyper-Reach and just wanted to let you know.”