When catastrophic events such as hurricanes Ida and Nicolas hit, it's critical that we at THD are able to preempt the storm and support the response teams who rush in to help victims. That’s why our team members train hard, adapt fast and work smart. You’ll find us tripling – and even quadrupling – our average placements during these catastrophes so that those first responders have a safe haven while doing their crucial work.
How, exactly, do we make this happen?
We cross-train the entire team. We prepare for surge events by continually training our team members on various processes of every department so they are able to shift their focus and fulfill the areas of greatest need at any time. This could mean that someone in Accounts Receivable jumps to help in Alternative Lodging, or that an IT expert is working to coordinate hotel bookings.
We lean on technology. Our proprietary software – HOTEL ACCESS RESERVATION SYSTEM – enables our team to seamlessly access hotel inventory databases and conduct searches based on the specific needs of guests. This booking software gives us the power to block rooms in advance of the storm's path, and our payment and reservation forms are pre-populated so we can complete bookings with just the push of a button.
We leverage buying power. Our long-standing partnerships with major hotel chains – coupled with our high-volume buying power and a track record of financial reliability – often translate to THD getting the first right of refusal on blocks of hotel rooms. This gives us rapid access to placement in the most critical geographic areas.
We use intel from our partners on the ground. Nimble THD team members often pivot on real-time intel provided by a diverse base of first responders, quickly gleaning details on the status of infrastructure, weather, road conditions and facility closures to make smarter, faster placement decisions. This information benefits these boots-on-the-ground workers as well as surge-event victims.
We harness our expertise. The final aspect giving THD an edge in achieving rapid, high-volume placements in those crunch times is 20 years of experience and relationships in the temporary housing industry. Through handling emergency placements thousands of times, our team has forged the best pathways for success.
"Our team and our processes have gotten stronger with each placement over the course of 20 years," said Tony LaRocca, THD's executive vice president. “We’ve built systems from our successes and our misses alike, and that’s how we’ve come to be so strong today. We're holding a person’s well-being – their peace of mind – in our hands, and that's something we just can't drop."