April 27, 2011 for many Alabamians, will live in infamy. It was a day no one could have imagined and no one could have truly been prepared for. Yet, from the chaos came innovation.
On April 27, our Emergency Response Teams were the first on the scene in many areas of Tuscaloosa, Pleasant Grove, Concord and Pratt City. Their hard work and commitment to our customers on that day and days following, was truly courageous. But, for our response teams, good wasn’t good enough. They searched for ideas and solutions to be more nimble during emergencies in the future.
Following the tornadoes, first responders were unable to find a building to house their equipment and employees in the disaster areas. First responders realized the need for a mobile command center that would not only be equipped with the needed tools, but could act as a rolling operations center that could be activated from any parking lot.
From this idea, the Alagasco mobile emergency command center was born. This command center is 28 feet long and features an onboard generator, a 30-gallon freshwater storage tank, a fully operational shower and kitchen, and two separate work spaces divided by sliding glass doors.
“Thankfully we have not needed it yet,” said Jon Lauderdale, manager of customer service for Alagasco’s Southern, Western and Jasper Operations. “But it’s kind of like a fire truck—it’s got to be ready to roll when we need it.”
The command center and its readily available equipment will allow Alagasco employees to make initial assessments quickly and safely from disaster areas.
This is yet another way we are preparing for the future and for the well-being of you, our valued customers. If we continue to work together, we can share the story and share the innovation.