All the recent natural and man made disasters that have occurred across the US in the past several weeks provide a golden opportunity for all of us to capitalize our emergency notification system in the name of disaster preparedness. Whether it has affected your community directly or not, these events are receiving an enormous amount of local and national press coverage and provides us with a concerned public that may be more eager for preparedness information than some of the other attempts that we make.
From wildfires erupting in several states to the severe thunderstorms/tornados in the south, central plains and mid-Atlantic states to the recent civil disturbances that have occurred, the lead story on every news program is reporting on a disaster event somewhere.
Believe it or not, your local media sources are very eager for your disaster preparedness information right now to tag on to these stories to attract local interest. It’s a perfect time to reach out to your local media to partner with them on delivering disaster preparedness information. They will welcome your partnership. It also provides a great opportunity to let your citizens know that their local public safety officials are following these events that are occurring and are concerned enough to provide them with life saving tips and information. That will go a long way to enhance their faith in your credibility as responsible public servants.
Along with disaster preparedness information, you should also use this platform to make your citizens aware of your CodeRED emergency notification system and encourage the use of the opt-in portal to gather additional contact information. We at ECN monitor opt-in rates daily and always see a spike when disasters occur, even without being prompted, so a concerted campaign during this time will prove to be that much more productive for you and your system.
Normally, the most successful impact for disseminating disaster information is during the pre-disaster or post-disaster time period from a direct community impact, however with all of the devastation going on across the US right now, the news media’s continual coverage is providing an increased level of concern among all citizens regardless of their direct impact. It’s your golden opportunity to spread your information to a captive and attentive audience.
As always, your Technical Support and Marketing team at CodeRED stand ready to assist you with these endeavors. Please feel free to reach out to us!
Don Hall is ECN’s Director of Government Relations and is a regular contributor on our blog. Hall’s public safety career experience includes 20 years as an Emergency Manager in Calvert County, Md., Jacksonville, FL and Washington, D.C. He also spent 10 years in law enforcement and 911 emergency communications and has 42 years of active duty experience in the Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service in Maryland. He has managed and directed more than 30 Presidential Disaster Declarations during his emergency management career and received numerous public safety- related awards and citations.