The Power of the Network Effect in Regional Emergency Preparedness
At Everbridge, we have long espoused the power of the Network Effect in bringing together communities and organizations around a shared goal of improving emergency preparedness and response. It’s a powerful term that can explicitly be used to describe how regional users of an emergency notification system organically create a “network” around their use of the same platform. The benefits–including the sharing and standardization of training materials and best practices, enhanced visibility into regional incidents, and reduced risk of conflicting messages–are countless. A real life example is evident in the State of Connecticut, where one of the largest statewide notification deployments in the nation, “CT Alert,” is powered by Everbridge, and enables Connecticut authorities to communicate critical information directly to every hospital, emergency response agency, business and resident across the state to keep them safe and informed. In addition, since CT Alert’s inception in 2009, many of the local 911 centers, state hospitals, educational institutions and employers also made the decision to move to Everbridge to leverage the value of the system to privately publish messages to their employees and residents, as well as publish publicly to surrounding local agencies and organizations. Another recent example was highlighted in this Emergency Management article, “Enhancing Campus Safety: Emergency Planning Goes Beyond the Historic Norms of Academia.” In this case, Everbridge customers in the Pullman, Washington area, including the city, and Washington State University, operate on a shared contract. As co-users on the same contract,” city and county emergency managers can reach across in support of one another. ” According to Gary Jenkins, police chief and emergency management director for Pullman, “each of the emergency managers for each of the entities has the ability to send an emergency notification to anyone on the system. So if my staff or I were not available to send an emergency notification for whatever reason, one of the others could actually do it for me.” While these are important examples of Everbridge customers working together to share and coordinate messaging, the “Network Effect” term can also be applied more broadly to discuss how communities and organizations can share information around regional and industry-specific events that should elicit preparedness, and ultimately notifications to impacted individuals and groups.