Pro One office survives Katrina
NEW ORLEANS--It took a few days, but District Manager Barry Cottrell was relieved to learn that all 40 employees of the New Orleans Protection One office, and their families, survived Hurricane Katrina.
"We had trouble getting in touch with one person, but we finally did that the other day. So we know everyone is OK," he said.
While the government has been criticized for its slow response, Cottrell said Protection One and its employees around the country have quickly come to the aid of the New Orleans office.
"This has been devastating to our people; many of our employees lost their homes," he said. "But the response from Protection One, the outpouring of support and offers to help, have been overwhelming."
Richard Ginsburg, president of Protection One, offered any displaced worker the opportunity to relocate to any of the company's 65 offices around the country. Four people took advantage of the offer within a week, relocating to Houston, Nashville and Memphis, Tenn., and Denver.
Protection One employees have offered housing, money and other assistance to their colleagues in New Orleans, Ginsburg said.
Located in St. Rose, outside of the main flood area, the New Orleans office won't restore normal operations for a while. Yet, two people are working there--mostly retrieving items from the office--and have been since a couple days after the storm.
"The office flooded and the power went down," Cottrell said. "But now there's heat, A/C and light. It's really a miracle."
New Orleans operations have been moved to a satellite office in Baton Rouge. And they made two sales within a week of the storm. "The population of Baton Rouge has doubled since the storm and people need security systems. We didn't miss a beat," Cottrell said.
Protection One's staff of 2,300 provides monitoring and security systems to more than 1 million residential and commercial customers nationwide.