Chennai Floods
Chennai Floods

Chennai floods disaster management

The Background

In December 2015 the Indian state of Tamil Nadu saw its worst, and most relentless, rainstorm in 100 years. The capital, Chennai, ground to a complete halt with over 3,500 people stranded at Chennai airport alone. The city was cut off from the rest of the country for over a week and remained unapproachable for a number of days. Industry estimated a financial loss of INR 15,000 crore (150m rupees).

The Challenge

The flooding that covered the entire city of Chennai left thousands of commuters and passengers in various parts of the city with little or no supply of essentials and other commodities from December 4th – 6th 2015. ATPI had to deal with the travel requirements of the personnel of a shipping client.

As part of a disaster management strategy, ATPI’s objective was to manage the movement of their employees from the affected region of Chennai to Bangalore.

The first step was to assess what was needed in terms of group travel to support the staff and baggage requirements for transport. Simultaneously, the ATPI office had to deal with hotel assistance, web check-in assistance, initiate a disaster recovery plan and handle existing and future travel requests of the team.

The Solution

Transport Assistance
  • The ATPI team received a call from the client on the evening of December 4th, requesting assistance for travellers to be transferred from Chennai to Bangalore.
  • Suppliers were contacted in Bangalore, however, due to heavy flooding in Chennai, all shuttle services were discontinued.
  • After much persuasion, a known contact / local agent in Bangalore arranged a driver and vehicle to travel to Chennai.
  • The vehicle left from Bangalore on the evening of the 4th and arrived at the client’s office on the morning of the 5th.
  • A team of 11 travellers left Chennai at approximately 11am on the 5th for Bangalore.
  • The pickup and drop-off was completed in spite of the seemingly insurmountable odds.

Hotel Assistance:

  • The client contacted the ATPI team on the 5th to assist with a hotel stay in Chennai for a manager and their family from December 6th – 7th.
  • Given the heavy Chennai floods, most hotels were fully occupied or sold out. Nevertheless, the ATPI team managed to persuade a hotel to accommodate the guests.
  • The ATPI team communicated the hotel confirmation details to the client.
Web check-in Assistance:
  • The ATPI team received a web check-in request on December 6th for 34 travellers who were travelling via Indigo Airlines from Bangalore to Mumbai the next morning.
  • Liaising with the ATPI 24/7 team, check-in was confirmed online for all 34 travellers and was relayed to the client.

The Result

By supporting the various departments in the ATPI office, including the Allied Services Team and the 24/7 team, ATPI coordinated a truly seamless response to the Chennai floods situation in rescuing necessary client personnel.

One of the greatest challenges over the period of natural disasters was damaged communication lines. The scale of the flooding greatly impacted telecommunication networks, resulting in slow communication response times. The ATPI team called on all of its associated hotel partners to provide accommodation for the passengers and dealt with the required logistical arrangements, along with food and beverages, without a hitch.

Since this natural disaster, ATPI has been further developing their disaster management travel plan which includes processes to be followed in the event of future crises. The plan involves using skilled and seasoned people on the job, harmonised procedures, contact details for key suppliers, and a detailed communication strategy.

Learn more about ATPI’s sector-specific travel management solution