This post is provided by App Dev Manager Rich Maines who shares his experience volunteering with Microsoft Services Disaster Response.
“When a disaster occurs, you’ve entered a “new reality,” says Lewis Curtis, director of Microsoft Services Disaster Response. It won’t be enough to simply restore your systems and applications to where they were before – disasters change everything, irrevocably and permanently.”
Catastrophic events like the San Jose Floods, Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma & Maria, Mexico Earthquake, California Wildfires, Cape Town Water Crisis are recent examples that illustrate the need for rapid, coordinated action during times of crisis. Microsoft Services Disaster Response is an organization within Microsoft, designed to help address both immediate needs and long-term objectives by delivering technologies, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) expertise, partnership resources and volunteer support to help members of the disaster response community boost their operational effectiveness.
I had never even heard of MSDR until last September. As MSDR was mobilizing support for Hurricane Harvey recovery efforts, two additional category 5 storms, Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria, devastated Puerto Rico and the surrounding island nations. The immediate flooding, the persistent power outages and the destroyed infrastructure significantly delayed the arrival and dispersal of supplies and aid. It was then that I saw an internal ‘call to action’ soliciting volunteers within Microsoft to assist with various missions related to Hurricane Irma and Maria. Inspired by the heroics of my colleagues, I decided to join “a mission or two” as a Mission Coordinator.
As the missions kept rolling in, what stood out most during mobilization after mobilization was the dedication and commitment of volunteers in helping others. Most of us had never heard of MSDR or Microsoft’s ability to help in a crisis. However, employees quickly adapted, collaborated, learned, and became seasoned veterans to quickly help more communities in their time of need. This meant overcoming unforeseen challenges, improving processes, and mentoring others to help new response teams help more communities affected by new disasters. These simple and selfless acts, sharing knowledge, offering guidance, and giving more are the reasons I absolutely love working for Microsoft.
Lewis Curtis likes to frequently remind us: “If you are doing it alone, you are doing it wrong.” This is true for all of us. Microsoft’s commitment to leveraging our capabilities and assets to address human suffering are the droids you’ve been looking for.
Most of the work we do as ADMs here in Premier Support for Developers is focused on helping customers succeed with Microsoft technology. As part of Microsoft, sometimes those skills and technologies are called to do even more in the wake of a natural disaster or catastrophic event. If you share a passion for technology and helping others, Microsoft is a wonderful place to put those skills to work. Join. Our. Team.
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