2012 National Hurricane Preparedness Week

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Photo Courtesy: OurAmazingPlanet.com

It’s National Hurricane Preparedness Week, when awareness and preparation measures are encouraged in coastal communities to help reduce the effects of any hurricane disasters. For Emergency Communications Network, it’s a time to encourage CodeRED client communities to proactively reach out to their residents to have them enroll for emergency alerts and where applicable, CodeRED Weather Warning notifications. Having community members enroll prior to any hurricane hazards is high priority, to ensure they receive critical emergency messages that may include evacuation orders, shelters and where to seek supplies including sandbags, hurricane shutters and food and water.

Although hurricane season officially begins tomorrow, June 1st, Tropical Storm Beryl got an early start by battering the east coast of Florida, Georgia and South Carolina with heavy rain and dangerous winds, reminding all in its path to get ready for the upcoming season, sooner rather than later. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the US Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) and the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida are working together to get the word out about hurricane preparedness.

Throughout the week, these organizations have been hosting daily YouTube videos on hurricane basics, wind, inland flooding and forecasting. On Friday and Saturday, the video presentations will focus on “Getting a Plan” and what to do “After the Storm”.

The CodeRED mass notification system along with CodeRED Weather Warning and the new CodeRED Mobile Alert app can help any community be better prepared. Hurricane conditions can spawn deadly tornadoes and cause flash floods that have devastated many communities in the past. With the mobile app’s geo-specific notifications, citizens will be alerted immediately if they are in the direct path of a severe thunderstorm, tornado warning or flash flood warning and take necessary precautions. As part of a comprehensive emergency response procedure, high-speed mass notification systems allow emergency managers to send out public safety messages in an effort to better inform their communities and protect lives.

During last year’s Hurricane Irene, the CodeRED system handled the increased volume without delay or burden. By the numbers, for just one week:

• 8,400,000 calls – the CodeRED system launched millions of calls to citizens on behalf of community clients. Many of the calls were made into heavily congested areas.
• 41,000 data entries – the CodeRED Community Notification Enrollment page received an unheard-of response to local government requests for citizens to provide this data. All information collected was immediately added to the CodeRED system creating the most up-to-date notification database.
• 4,922 user logins – CodeRED system users logged in and launched calls, and when they didn’t have Internet access, they called us and we helped them launch.
• 440 jobs launched – by four coastal states directly hit by Hurricane Irene: New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts.
• 15 new clients – data was loaded and users in these communities were set-up and trained on the CodeRED system in advance of the storm.

Go to www.Ready.gov for more information on National Hurricane Preparedness Week videos and activities. The full NOAA guide to the tropical cyclone season is also available. Make sure to also download the free CodeRED Mobile Alert app, available on iTunes or Google Play.