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The Real Eye of the Hurricane Part 2: Reporting for Storm Cost Reimbursement

By June 13, 2022Blog

A stack of semi-disorganized papersA huge challenge related to storm recovery is recouping your costs from FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) and other agencies. In an emergency, your focus is on dealing with the immediate damage. Later you go back and worry about filling out the forms. The reconciliation process usually takes months, or even years, with detailed reporting mandatory in all aspects. As a result, much of the money spent on storm response is never recovered because of inaccurate or inadequate reporting.

ARCOS can help you find everything you need to successfully get reimbursed and speed up the process. Our built-in and custom reports are available in real-time with a variety of ways to organize the data. We provide a single source of truth for all operations, storing everything in one place so you can find what you need with just a few clicks.

Automation Makes Easy

Previously, tracking resources was a difficult and cumbersome process. It was often done on spreadsheets, updated with phone calls, faxes, and scribbled notes in the margins. Or on a whiteboard, which would eventually be erased. Documentation from contractors may not match your own records. And when there was conflicting info, it was hard to know who was right. Notes could be missed, updates not made, and then the reporting becomes incomplete.

With a Resource Management Solution like ARCOS, everything is tracked automatically. Once configured, you don’t have to do anything to enable or maintain tracking. All you have to do is use the software to manage all your resources. This eliminates many of the inconsistencies and, with a trained staff, virtually gets rid of human error.

Flexible and Efficient for Your Needs

ARCOS isn’t just one solution; it’s a suite of solutions that work together.

Crew Manager tracks crews and equipment in the field with very little effort. Resources can be assigned ahead of time or adjusted in the moment, depending on your needs. Hotels and meals can even be assigned and calculated. It’s cloud-based, so you can access it from anywhere. It keeps a running historical record of who was where and what work was accomplished. Combined with Mobile Workbench, field employees have the access they need to keep the back office updated on their activities, tied to GPS coordinates.

Resource Assist enables you to fold contractor crews right into your existing process. Contractors load their resources easily into their own portal. Then, you can bring them over to your Crew Manager with a few clicks. This seamless mixing of internal and external resources makes tracking extremely easy, as there’s only a single place to go to find all the information you need.

Incident Manager contains everything you need to handle emergencies. ARCOS makes it simple to set up a plan structure, ready to ramp up or down as the situation progresses. You can put a leadership framework on place, activate only who you need, and have the whole organizational chart available at a glance. You can set it up ahead of time for a variety of situations. During the event, Incident Manager has the same real-time, comprehensive tracking that exists in the rest of ARCOS.

The result is clear. Spreadsheets, whiteboards, and manual processes can be replaced by one electronic system that tracks everything. You can quickly access this historical documentation to find the data needed for reimbursement. You’ll be able to submit more quickly and often more completely. This gives FEMA and other organizations what they need to get you paid rapidly. Many of our partners report they cut their storm cost recovery time in half with ARCOS. The cost saved on Aspirin is just a bonus.

In the final blog in the series, we’ll look at the future of storm response. Join us for “The Real Eye of the Hurricane Part 3.”

Read our whitepaper on how we link contractors with utilities. Then contact ARCOS to learn more about increasing your storm recovery efficiency.

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