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Posts Tagged ‘disaster’

AIRS Presents: Forecasting the Ferocious – Predicting Tornadoes at the Storm Prediction Center

Webinars - textOn Thursday July 17, 2014 at 2:30pm EST, the Alliance of Information and Referral Systems (AIRS) will present a Webinar on predicting tornadoes at the storm prediction center.

Courtesty of AIRS, here is the description of the webinar content:

“Join Gregory Carbin from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to learn more about tornado and severe storm prediction. Greg is the Warning Coordination Meteorologist at NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Prediction, Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma. Greg is considered one of NOAA’s leading experts on tornadoes and severe storm forecasting. He has been interviewed extensively about severe weather and usually provides historical context to national and international media after major events. This webinar is brought to you by the AIRS Disaster Committee and will be inroduced by Janna Shoe, United Way of Greater Houston and Committee Co-Chair.”

Note: This webinar is only available via the Internet. There will be no telephone connection. If you have a computer that can play the audio on a YouTube video, you should be able to access this webinar

Click here to Register for the webinar

This webinar aims to provide useful information for your helpline operations in times of disaster. There are tons of great webinars, training opportunities, and other professional development opportunities presented by AIRS that are only available to members. Want to become a member of AIRS and take advantage of all the great perks of membership? Find out how.

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Collaborate with partners: Load balance chats between organizations

We have an exciting new capability to share with iCarol Messaging subscribers. You can now allow a partner center, or multiple centers, to take chats for you from within their own iCarol system.

Collaborating w partnersThis new ability is transparent to visitors; they will not be aware of which center is taking the chat session. Visitors will still click on your familiar Chat Now button on your website and will see your prechat survey. But during times you designate, both you and your partner center will see those visitors come in to each of your messaging queues. As usual, safeguards are in place so two people don’t accidentally take the same chat. Both centers will have access to submitted call report forms and associated real-time statistics.

The possibilities here are endless. It’s ideal for handling overflow in a disaster situation. Watch your messaging queue grow shorter and become more manageable as your partner agency takes some of your chats. You can use this feature to handle after-hours messaging visitors. Because iCarol centers are found in multiple time zones, after-hours for you might be prime time for another center, and your partner could take all of your after-hours chats. This lets you expand your hours of service without trying to staff shifts during hard-to-staff hours. Want to get really fancy? You could even designate multiple centers to handle chats that come in to a central iCarol system, effectively creating a consortium of chat centers where no single center feels overburdened or underutilized. Every partner center sees all chats and takes chats when they can — it’s load balancing at its finest. Each partner center could have their own hours of service, too, and you’d get real-time statistics.

If you’re interested but don’t have a partner center in mind, feel free to post a message on the iCarol User Community on the Dashboard to find your perfect match. We can see it now: Single Crisis Center on East Coast seeks same on West Coast for meaningful after-hours relationship…looking for good listening skills, compassion, and ability to read between the lines. :)

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AIRS Presents: Family Crisis Centers in Time of Disaster

Webinars - textOn Monday March 24, 2014 at 4pm EST, the Alliance of Information and Referral Systems (AIRS) will present a Webinar on Family Crisis Centers in Time of Disaster.

Courtesty of AIRS, here is the description of the webinar content:

“Mass fatality incidents arise from natural and man-made disasters (accidental and intentional) and disease outbreaks. This AIRS webinar explains the concept of a Family Assistance Center and the role of an I&R processing missing persons calls following a mass fatality incident.”

“Learn from David Jobe and Sandra Ray of the United Way of Greater Houston about how their agency plays a significant role as the initial point of contact integrated within a comprehensive strategy for the Houston-Galveston region in southeast Texas.”

Note: This webinar is only available via the Internet. There will be no telephone connection. If you have a computer that can play the audio on a YouTube video, you should be able to access this webinar

Click here to Register for the webinar

This webinar aims to provide useful information for your helpline operations in times of disaster. There are tons of great webinars, training opportunities, and other professional development opportunities presented by AIRS that are only available to members. Want to become a member of AIRS and take advantage of all the great perks of membership? Find out how.

Continue Reading

iCarol celebrates 211 Day

It’s February 11th and today we celebrate 211 Day. 211 is an easy to remember three digit number, but unlike 411 or 911, the focus of 211 is to provide callers with information and referral to health and human services in their communities. Best of all it’s free* and confidential. Boasting an impressive reach, 211 is available to nearly 91% of Americans and 56% of Canadians. In the US 211 has a presence in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.

211 is the number to dial when you need to know what local service might help you prevent an eviction, apply for food stamps, seek treatment for mental illness or addictions, or avoid a utility shut off due to an unpaid bill. Rather than spend hours of frustration calling around to various agencies, callers can make 211 their first call for assistance and speak to a trained Information and Referral Specialist that can spend time evaluating their needs, educating them about resources, and then connect them with the appropriate services.

flooding

211 is also an essential service in times of disaster. In recent years during hurricanes, blizzards, flooding, earthquakes, and other natural disasters, 211 is widely known as a number to call for information and referral. Even in the more routine, yet still disruptive, events such as extreme cold or heat, 211 is available to refer callers to heating or cooling centers. Winter can be especially hard for people with financial hardships as utility cut offs can pose a real danger. In times like these 211 helps direct callers to local services that assist with utility bills, sign up for energy assistance, or prevent a shut off.

iCarol is delighted and honored to work with so many 211 providers across the US and Canada. These organizations provide a vital service to their communities and connect millions of people to essential services each year.

Get in touch: +1 888-4-iCarol
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