Home » OPINION » Columns » ALAN TURNER — Mississippi technology company aids in disaster recovery following Hurricane Michael

ALAN TURNER — Mississippi technology company aids in disaster recovery following Hurricane Michael


For those who aren’t aware, technology in Mississippi is one of our bright and emerging industries. Mississippi’s tech companies are providing innovative and creative solutions to the needs of business, government, and communities in diverse places around the world, and during the devastating blow dealt to the Florida Panhandle by Hurricane Michael in October, one Mississippi firm was at the forefront in helping one of its clients to recover.

In a recent conversation with Don Glidewell, CEO of Think Anew, a Mississippi technology firm based in Madison, I learned about a new technology product called BOOMBOX that was instrumental in helping a Think Anew client get back up to speed following the storm.

On Oct. 10 Hurricane Michael nearly decimated the town of Panama City knocking out critical essentials such as power, water, communications and connectivity to homes, businesses and critical-care facilities. With over 70 percent of carrier communications towers leveled and almost all utility poles snapped, St. Andrews Bay Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation Center found itself without critical communications and struggling to track and report on resident care.


St. Andrews reached out for help to Think Anew. Within two days, Think Anew mobilized a team to deploy its device which restored communications and critical access to clinical/operational software and allowed the facility to care for their residents effectively, and to maintain operations during the crisis.

Think Anew had just introduced BOOMBOX when Hurricane Michael came calling.

“I cannot describe how bad the situation was”, said Jeremy Ryman of St. Andrews Bay . “BOOMBOX technology solution provided a lifeline in the middle of a crisis so we could focus on our jobs and ensure the safety and care of our near 100 elderly residents.”

“I’m delighted that we were able to deliver the technology that St. Andrews desperately needed,” Don Glidewell told me. “We were able to prove the effectiveness of the device under the most challenging of circumstances, and I feel that our work and investment in developing BOOMBOX were proven beyond our greatest expectations.”

That success story has not gone unnoticed by others.

“The horrid conditions left by Hurricane Michael created significant challenges for many Florida residents, but none moreso than seniors in skilled care facilities going without everyday necessities and at risk for medical care issues due to the lack of communications.” said Florida Sen. Dennis Baxley, who sits on the Florida Senate Healthcare Committee.

Don told me that he developed the concept for BOOMBOX almost 7 years ago, and he said that it is the only device of its kind in the long-term care market.

“We’re very excited to be able to play a role in helping care facilities to recover from disastrous situations and to continue to provide the quality care that their residents need,” Don said. “While we’re a technology company, my first priority has always been in helping seniors to get the services and support they need at all times.”

Don told me that Think Anew has developed an important strategic partnership with Microsoft, and he is delighted with the support that he has received from one of the world’s largest technology companies.

“I truly believe that BOOMBOX is going to play an important role in disaster recovery planning throughout the long-term care industry,” Don said. “Right now, 30 percent of businesses have no disaster recovery plan or strategy in place, and as we’ve seen on the Gulf Coast and in many other areas, catastrophic situations can develop and develop quickly. They key is, how do you recover? That’s what we’re focused on.”

It is definitely encouraging to see Think Anew and other Mississippi technology companies that are working to deliver the vital technology products and services that are necessary in business, health care, education, and government. That presents a bright picture for Mississippi technology in the years to come.

» Contact Mississippi Business Journal publisher Alan Turner at alan.turner@msbusiness.com or (601) 364-1021.


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