After a lifetime of service in emergency management, fire and rescue, and law enforcement, Don Hall is now fulfilling a leadership role in emergency notification. Hall currently serves as the Government Solutions Director for OnSolve. In 2017, Hall was appointed to the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) Subcommittee for the FEMA National Advisory Council. In a recent radio interview with Federal News Radio, this highly experienced communications expert explained the products and technologies currently available at OnSolve for emergency notifications.
In regard to choosing the right emergency communications methods, Hall said the best technique is to “Use every tool in your toolbox. You never know when you’ll need to use that toolbox, it’s exactly why you need preparation and policies. These incidents don’t always follow the plan, so prepare for contingencies.”
The products available by OnSolve for emergency notifications, as well as internal and external communications, include MIR3, CodeRED, and Send Word Now. All of the products are Software as a Service. Therefore, all organizations need is an internet connection to access and activate notifications and calls. Hall further explored the purposes, clients, and audiences of each of these tools.
Hall also spoke about the way that the Internet of Things is affecting emergency communications: “Technology is completely fascinating. As we sit here talking and doing this radio show technology has changed around us.” He explains that his overriding professional goal is to stay abreast of the latest technologies as they relate to emergency notifications and mass communications.
With IoT in particular, this technology allows emergency managers to get instantaneous alerts about potential problems. Hall explained, “The interfacing with lots of other…alert and warning products and monitoring products, say fire alarms…it triggers that system and makes a notification to a group of people that you have defined and says there’s a fire in building B or the heat and humidity has raised in the Smithsonian Institute in the artifacts room.”
From there emergency services are contacted immediately using IoT, which reduces any lag time that could prove disastrous and even fatal. This is the type of technology that OnSolve is using to create more efficient emergency communications.
Finding an effective way to provide communications and outreach to your community, whether internally or externally, is vital to the operation of your organization or business. In addition to choosing the right product to communicate with your internal or external parties, your plan should include outreach.
Hall explained, “You need to have that outreach to your citizens to let them know you have this particular type of tool, how you will be using it, how they should be able to provide their data to you to make sure you are going to be able to contact them when an emergency strikes in your area.”
Want to learn more about how you can engage in outreach with your community? Interested in how the products by OnSolve could benefit your organization or business? Click here to listen to the entire interview.