Assisting a client affected by Cyclone Pam
Cyclone Pam had a devastating impact on the Pacific Island nation of Vanuatu late at night on 13 March 2015. Shortly after impact, we had ascertained that 27 of our clients had close to 400 staff in the immediate vicinity.
Service: Information and Tracking Services
Early the next day we activated a global client liaison team to provide information and support to clients with expatriates and travelling staff known to be in Vanuatu and surrounding island nations including Fiji, the Solomon Islands and Tuvalu.
While clients were being contacted, a crisis management team based in our Sydney Assistance Centre began coordinating our response, including the earliest possible departure for our Incident Management Team and the availability of evacuation aircraft should it be needed.
Within 24 hours, all but one of our members were accounted for. The missing woman had been living and working on a remote island, which was totally cut off from the outside world during the cyclone. No one had been able to reach her for four days.
Upon arriving in Port Vila, the Incident Management Team prepared a search and rescue mission to the island the woman was thought to be on. After the storm had passed and realising she had no way of reaching anyone without a satellite phone, the woman found her own way to Port Vila and made contact with her manager, who alerted us immediately.
Our International SOS Sydney Assistance Centre arranged for her to get on the first plane back to Australia. When the Incident Management Team arrived shortly after to pick her up she was relieved, as she was soon to be going home.
Thanks to our Tracker solution, which integrates travel bookings with membership services in real-time, we could identify instantly which travellers had been affected. Our clients did not have to wait for business opening hours to check travel itineraries or call administrative staff in over the weekend.