The recent civil unrest events experienced in Baltimore, MD during the past several weeks provides yet another perfect example of how emergency notification software can be an excellent public safety tool for your community. The tension, anxiety and level of fear that this type of event inflicts upon residents is astronomical. Even though it is not a dangerous weather or man-made technological event that threatens the lives of many, this type of an event can make the same impact on a community, as we have witnessed several times in the recent year. Therefore, the need to use your CodeRED emergency notification software during this type of an event is multi-faceted and more important than you would normally consider.
Whether it’s a multiple day event or one that just lasts a few hours, it’s important to provide the residents with updated detailed information that will ease their fears. You will also want to include protective action recommendations they should be following. Each of these scenarios will be ever evolving and may require periodic update notices as situations change. The end goal is to keep residents informed with the current information and safe throughout the ordeal.
Keep in mind the more accurate information you provide the resident, the better trust they develop in your agency’s ability to handle the incident. It also adds credibility to the information they are receiving. All too often, information conveyed by media sources on the scene has a tendency to be over sensationalized because it makes for good television. Unfortunately for you, the local public safety official, this type of media coverage simply adds to the difficulty of your responsibility to keep residents properly informed. The best way to overcome this is to take full advantage of your CodeRED emergency notification software to keep your community informed with your information.
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.