Emergency Alert Failures Prove Need for Layered Approach, Redundancies
September is National Preparedness Month and is designed to promote individual and family disaster planning. Furthermore, the month-long initiative provides a good opportunity for emergency managers to revisit — and revise as needed — a community’s emergency management plan.
But it’s not just your emergency management plan you should review.
National Preparedness Month is great time to ensure your community has the necessary mass notification technology to avoid emergency alert failures.
It’s imperative that emergency managers develop a layered system that creates redundancies to ensure it reaches all individuals. Relying on one technology to alert all of your residents is risky, especially if your mass notification system experiences emergency alert failures.
Too often, communities rely solely on one technology to alert residents, sometimes with disastrous results.
Emergency Alert Failures put Residents in Harm’s Way
Most recently, residents in Winter, Calif., failed to receive wireless emergency alerts as wildfire quickly approached on Aug. 19. In fact, 100 percent of the voice call alerts failed in two areas, partially due to robocall blocking, according to articles published in the Daily Democrat newspaper.
Luckily, no one died. However, residents said consequences could have been dire, especially for seniors and those with accessibility issues.
According to an analysis of the system, the alerts were sent from a phone number blocked by the state’s Consumer Call Protection Act, which protects consumers from robocalls.
Furthermore, the alerts were sent around 2 a.m. and again at 4 a.m., a time when many residents are sleeping with their cell phone silenced.
And this isn’t the only example of emergency alert failures. In April, a wireless emergency alerts failure left many individuals vulnerable as a tornado approached East Brainerd, Tenn.
ASC Can Help Build Effective Mass Notification System
The lesson: Don’t rely on one technology to save lives and keep individuals safe. Emergency managers must develop an effective layered system to reach as many — if not all — individuals in harm’s way.
American Signal Corp. can design a layered mass notification solution that’s right for your community. ASC offers advanced technology, including:
- Voice and tone sirens with overlapping coverage
- Wireless emergency alerts technology
- Alerts via computers, smartboards, digital signage and more.
In addition, ASC’s CompuLert™ NEXGen control system has an easy-to-use interface and geo-targeting. This allows emergency managers the ability to target specific areas. ASC’s NEXGen also supports a variety of inputs for sensor technology for fire, wind and more.
For more information about how to build a layered mass notification system, contact us today.
Furthermore, for more information about National Preparedness Month, an initiative driven by Ready — a national public service campaign designed to educate and empower the American people to prepare for, respond to and mitigate emergencies — visit ready.gov.