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Effectively using your mass notification system during wildfires

Community-Notification_-WildfiresAs summer continues with hotter temperatures and drier conditions, the threat of wildfires becomes a probability. With your mass notification system, you can inform residents of your community during this weather-related disaster.

Emergency Communications Network (ECN) suggests you use CodeRED during the wildfire season to proactively inform residents to keep them safe.

To prepare for wildfire season, Coconino County in Arizona sent a CodeRED alert message to residents in March 2015 encouraging them to sign-up for the system, or correct and update their information as soon as possible. The alert was sent because the County was conducting fire training exercises, and the alert was a step toward safety during the fire season.

Coconino County has had experience using CodeRED for wildfires in May 2014, when a mandatory evacuation notice was sent to affected residents, detailing the description of the evacuated areas, as well as an address to a Red Cross shelter and animal shelter.

They also sent out a CodeRED message notifying residents of the date, time and location of a post fire meeting to discuss when residents and business owners would be able to re-enter their property.

Sending alerts like these can alert all residents in the affected areas, and can aid safety before, during and after wildfires.

At ECN, we encourage you to stress the importance of enrollment to your residents to ensure a good majority are registered and will receive notifications. Having more residents register for CodeRED is not only beneficial to them, but also to your community. To increase enrollment, remind residents of their ability to fine tune their location on the enrollment page. This feature is important to those individuals who live in rural areas, or other areas not recognized by a GPS.

Resident enrollment data is updated real time, so the database is always up to date when a notification is sent.

Urge your residents to update their contact information into the emergency database on a regular basis to stay informed and safe.

The CodeRED Mobile Alert app gives those traveling through the area an opportunity to stay informed of any situations that may affect their safety. During any wildfire, having a mobile strategy in place to connect with anyone in the area is critical.