Although the El Niño is allegedly winding down, wild and crazy weather events are still evolving in unprecedented proportion. From coast to coast there are relentless severe storms leading to tornadoes, wildfires appearing in several areas, and now even a taste of winter is making an encore in the north and northeast region of the U.S. This has truly been a crazy El Niño season, and one that has kept every public safety official on guard and quite busy.
Now is the official start of tornado season (April – June), and we can expect there will be many to occur. Just when we think we’ve had our fill, tornadoes come full force. These destructive and heavily feared weather events never took a break during the winter for many of the southern states. We can blame them on Mr. El Niño, but the reality seems to point to the fact that previous normalcies in weather are not normal anymore. For many areas of the U.S., wildfire season has also begun, which is evident by the amount of active fires burning already across the country. For many of these areas, the El Nino effect has increased the wildfire vulnerability and poses a high risk for a very active fire season.
All of this simply tells us that we all have to step up our game in regards to public safety with community preparedness drills and communications, alerts and warnings, and response plans for these (and all) disaster events that could occur. Now more than ever, you need to utilize one of the most important tools in the public safety tool box: your CodeRED mass notification system.
Many jurisdictions have mass notification capability, yet don’t utilize it to their full advantage during severe weather seasons. This is a great time to pull out your emergency plans and review how you can incorporate your CodeRED notification system into your agency’s plans and procedures. Sharing preparedness information, alert and warning notices, protective action recommendations, and evacuations are all good uses for your mass notification tool. However, there are many additional out-of-the-box use cases that should also be identified and incorporated into your plans. These may include informational updates and response progress throughout an event, safety and welfare precautions, specific recovery information including public assistance locations, shelter locations, etc.
Even after an event has concluded, the public needs to hear encouraging and calming words from local government officials reassuring them that the issues are being addressed and progress is being made. While local media sources may be a viable avenue to share some of this information when time is not as critical, your mass notification system is the tool to help you reach more of your citizens than the media, delivering the information they need directly to them in a proactive manner.
You may, in fact, be surprised to know how many message delivery modes are available with your CodeRED notification solution – many you may have never considered using. One extremely effective method that often gets overlooked is the CodeRED Mobile Alert app. This app will help you reach residents, visitors, and/or transient travelers in your area during severe weather events. Additionally, if you have the IPAWS component with your solution (and you should), you add five further modes of message dissemination to your alerting capabilities to reach residents and visitors.
When used to its fullest capacity, the CodeRED mass notification solution has the power and the unprecedented ability to reach nearly every person in your community during weather events via a single platform. During critical times, jurisdictions around the country count on the CodeRED system for public safety, and so should you.
To learn more about additional system capabilities and how to maximize your solution, please contact Client Support at 866-939-0911.