Each year during hurricane season, people living along coastal and inland communities face the danger of these powerful storms. In fact, Munich RE, one of the world’s leading reinsurers, recently released data showing that North America has been the most affected by weather-related extreme events in recent decades. Their data states that from “1980 to 2011 – the overall loss burden from weather catastrophes in North America was US$1,060bn (in 2011 values)” with 30,000 lost lives. In 2005, Hurricane Katrina became the costliest and deadliest storm taking more than 1,300 lives and costing US$125bn. To best prepare for the unpredictable impact, municipalities, academia and businesses should all ensure that:
- Severe weather alerts are integrated with your mass communication system with automated calls-to-action for emergency responders and constituents.
- Your weather alerts include lightning, high winds, flash floods and flooding – all weather related to hurricanes.
- Opt-in portal information is well promoted and multiple contact paths exist for each member of your system to ensure that people, not just devices are reached.
- Adequate and recent testing of the system and its contact data has been done to guarantee expected results.
- All emergency responders are trained on how to initiate communications from their mobile devices using lists and map-based capabilities and do not have to rely on being at the office or in front of a computer.
- Constituents are empowered with mobile apps that they can use to proactively communicate their status and need for emergency response.
- Social media sites like Twitter are being monitored for real-time, location-specific impact to individuals and communities.
- Important internal, external & social media information can be aggregated in a single console to deliver situational intelligence to emergency response teams as soon as possible
- Instant conference call capabilities are available to automatically bridge key stakeholders to a call by simply having them press a single key or button when they receive a notification.
- The emergency plan for hurricanes includes appropriate communications at every stage of the incident lifecycle.
“Hurricanes are the single costliest and most deadly storm system for North America,” said Imad Mouline, chief strategy officer, Everbridge. “Businesses and municipalities need to keep in mind that “reaching a person, not a device”, is the right philosophy during severe weather. Cell towers might be down, Telco Central Offices might be overloaded, etc… no single communication path is 100% effective, and the only way to dramatically increase the chances of reaching recipients is to try multiple contact paths, and, then once they are reached and confirm, discontinue further attempts to reach them.” Related Resources
- Listen to how the Town of East Haddam, CT used Everbridge to keep citizens safe during unexpected severe weather, here.
- Read about how Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) manages severe weather with Everbrige, click here
- Learn about Everbridge’s next generation new SMART Weather Alerting solution here.