It has been one year since Superstorm Sandy made its mark as one of the most dangerous and economically crippling storms in American history. Hundreds of thousands of people were affected including Barry Segal, president of MTS Power Systems, who witnessed the devastating storm first hand.
MTS Power Systems is an authorized KOHLER Generators dealer that’s based in Farmingdale, NY and services all of Long Island and the NY Metro Area.
Q: What do you remember the most about the storm?
Segal: First and foremost, the flooding and destruction of people’s homes. Secondly, I would say the extended power outages. Most people went 14 days without power— imagine two weeks without electricity. On top of that, it started to get very cold. Some people had portable generators but had trouble getting gasoline.
Q: I’m sure the storm affected your business, too?
Segal: There was no escape. We knew the storm was big and I did everything I could to make sure we could be up and running the very next day.
Q: How important was it for you to make sure your customers received the help that they needed?
Segal: It was our number one priority. But we lost power, too, and had to use an emergency generator to power the lights and heat. It was just enough to keep us up and running. Because of the outage, our phones and internet connection were down so we couldn’t receive calls or access our emails.
But we quickly switched tactics and started using our personal cell phones and a wireless mobile hotspot. We were finally able to communicate with our customers by 9:00 am the day after the storm.
Everyone worked hard and did their part to help. We immediately sent our service technicians out on the road. They went from home to home to repair generators and get our customers back up and running. When they finally returned, the managers would take their trucks, wait in line at the gas stations and gas up to make sure the techs could get back to work early the next day.
It was the same thing over and over again.
Q: What advice do you have for homeowners who are still unsure about buying a home generator?
Segal: Generators are no longer a luxury item. Period. If you’ve ever been without power for days, you know first hand how awful it can be and that the utility companies are often slow to getting things back up and running or aren’t equipped with enough resources to respond in a timely manner.
Having electricity running through your home is extremely important for your safety. You need to have heat, your sump pumps need to work, and your food needs to stay cold. Even one day without power can be a serious set back. Installing a generator should be a priority for all homeowners. The fact of the matter is that there’s always a chance that there’ll be another storm next year. The right time to be prepared is now.
Q: What lessons did you learn from Sandy?
Segal: Superstorm Sandy was definitely a learning experience and not just for me but for everyone. My teams did an exceptional job responding to all of our customers and were able to reach out to every request within 24 hours. However, we do have new policies in place to help us better prepare for severe storms in the future.
Our thoughts go out to all those who were affected by this storm and those who are still on their path to recovery. Kohler Generators participates with several great stewardship organizations that offer assistance in the event of an emergency.
If you are still seeking assistance please contact these organizations:
MTS Power Systems is an authorized KOHLER Generators dealer that provides electrical power and environmental control solutions for a broad range of applications. On site, standby and portable electrical power generation systems, rental generators and rental HVAC systems.