OnStar helping those in Harvey crisis from Detroit headquarters
DETROIT (WJBK) - Thousands of workers and volunteers have headed down south to help the Harvey victims. Some important rescue work is also being done, though, from high atop a skyscraper in Detroit.
The national headquarters from OnStar is in the Renaissance Center in downtown Detroit. OnStar's response team has stepped up their game in their command center to help during this time of crisis.
"Whether it was an emergency; whether they needed evacuation routes; if they needed to go to a shelter or a hotel; whatever the case may be, we were prepared for that," says Catherine Bishop, OnStar's global emergency services manager.
OnStar has over 200,000 customers in the Houston area. When those customers push their red SOS button, OnStar will be there to help.
Bishop says they've already taken about 18,000 additional calls in the Harvey-impacted area. Those calls are monitored in Detroit in the situation room.
Mary Ann Adams, a crisis response manager, told us about one of the calls she got in Rockport, Texas, within an hour after the hurricane hit.
"They were trapped in their garage. Their house was actually caving in from the hurricane, and they had no way to get out to get help," she says. Their cell phones and landline weren't working either. Mary Ann says they were able to connect them with 911 so they could get rescued.
Besides the emergencies, too, OnStar helps with contacting love ones. OnStar agents can even find where customers can get food and water. They can even take overflow calls for the American Red Cross.
"If need be, we can quickly divert calls or rescale agents to make sure we're meeting all the expectations of our customers," Bishop says. "We're managing the crisis right here from Detroit for our OnStar customers, and, really, anybody else who needs assistance that may be to an OnStar customer."
"We're doing some really great things helping people down there," Adams says.
To learn of the ways you can also help Harvey victims, click here.