Vivint, a Utah-based provider of home automation, alarm and monitoring services, is helping customers that were impacted by the tornado that struck Joplin, Mo., this week.
On the morning after the storm hit, the company's customer service team began calling customers in the area to check and see if they were alright.
Of the company's 505 customers that reside in Joplin, Josh Houser, vice president of service at Vivint, said that they've been able to contact 316 of them. Houser said that of those they've contacted, 52 have had their homes damaged or destroyed.
To help those affected, Vivint has sent out teams of service techs to deliver much needed supplies. Houser said that eight full-time service technicians along with four people from their corporate office in Provo, Utah, will be working to help residents in the community through the weekend and into early next week. The company has also stopping billing for those impacted in Joplin.
"We always try to make sure that our motto of 'protecting family' goes beyond the services that we provide," said, Houser, who also serves as president of the Vivint Gives Back Project. "We're going to get after it and help them."
Houser said that the company's commitment to helping communities in need after disasters started three years ago when Hurricane Ike stuck the Texas coast. During a staff meeting, Houser said one person in the room suggested that they actually needed to send staff members to the area rather than money and they subsequently sent a team of 90 people to the affected locations.
When the tornado hit Joplin on Sunday, Houser said their employees had already started calling customers and were lining up to volunteer. The residents of Joplin have been grateful for the help.
"They are just so unbelievably grateful that we would be willing to come out there and help," Houser said. "They appreciate it and it's amazing to hear what these people are saying."
Some of the company's customers were also able to utilize Vivint's recently launched free tornado alert service during the storm. The service sends alert messages to customers that have the company's Go!Control panel after a tornado alert has been issued by the National Weather Service. Houser said that they've heard from customers in the area that these alerts went out nearly five minutes before the town's tornado sirens sounded.