Tornado spares CSG office in Oklahoma City

Branch manager’s daughter, top-five dealer lose homes in storm
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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

TULSA, Okla.—Monday’s devastating tornado spared Central Security Group’s office in Oklahoma City, but the homes of the branch manager’s daughter and a CSG dealer were among the hundreds that were destroyed, CSG’s Glenn Albers told Security Systems News on Tuesday.

Albers, vice president of dealer operations for CSG, a full-service security provider based here, said the company was still attempting to contact all of its dealers in the area in the chaotic aftermath of the storm.

“There are some guys we haven’t heard from yet,” he said. Cellphone service was affected by the storm and “we’re monitoring social media to see if anyone is posting that they are OK.”

The Oklahoma City office was evacuated before the tornado and the building wasn’t damaged, Albers said. He received a text message Tuesday morning from branch manager Rick Hunter saying that all of the office’s employees had been accounted for and were unhurt.

Albers said the wife of a CSG employee was injured at one of the elementary schools hit by the tornado. The home of Hunter’s daughter “was completely leveled,” he said, “but everyone was out of town, so they were really lucky.”

CSG dealer Ryan Harvey, president of Security Options, also lost his home in the tornado.

“He’s a top-five [sales] guy for us, he’s a great guy, and it’s just like ‘wow,’” Albers said. “I heard about his house disappearing and he’s still just trying to figure out what’s going on.”

Albers said CSG has more than 2,000 accounts in the Oklahoma City suburbs of Moore, Shawnee and Newcastle, but “we’re not sure how many were hit at this point.” Moore and Newcastle were in the 20-mile path of destruction on Monday, while Shawnee was hit by a separate tornado on Sunday.

Experience with tornadoes in years past will help CSG handle the aftermath this time, Albers said.

“We’ve done this before,” he said. “I actually just got off the phone with the office in Tulsa to make sure we’re bending over backward to make sure customers know we’re going to do everything we can for them from a security standpoint. Contractually, we can put their accounts on hold. For a lot of people it will take six months or a year to rebuild, and we’ll just work with them to make sure they get what they need.”

The effects of the severe weather weren’t limited to Oklahoma. Albers was driving to Wichita, Kan., on Tuesday morning to check on CSG’s SecureNet monitoring facility, which was acquired in a deal in March.

“There wasn’t a lot of coverage about it, but two days ago there was a tornado that touched down outside the airport in Wichita,” he said. “There’s no damage [to the central station] that I’m aware of, but I’m heading up to go over their processes and procedures. That’s something we’ve been working on, but it kind of brings a sense of urgency when all of this happens.”