Best Practices

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New Emergency Alerting Channels Have Proliferated But Challenges Remain

What about alerting standards, legacy alerting and risks?
Never before have there been so many options for alerting the public. In the last few months alone potential for new alerting channels has been unleashed for complementing an already growing array of channels. Names like Google, Twitter, Facebook and the Weather Channel have entered the alerting field. […]


Wireless Emergency Alert Messages Need to Be Longer, Says DHS Report

Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) messages need to be longer, the content needs to be rearranged and more education needs to be conducted.
These are some of the high-level findings of research for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) at the University of Maryland.  […]


What Happened in Emergency Alerting in 2014? A Look Back

2014: A Year of Extraordinary Alert Developments
This time last year, we expressed excitement about what we thought 2014 would bring to emergency alerts and notifications. In our 2013 year-end blog post, we said there were important things that have been developing for years that could develop in 2014 into meaningful alerting tools. By golly, I […]


Is the National Emergency Alert System Vulnerable?

The National Emergency Alert System Has Complex Vulnerability Issues.
In comments to the FCC, broadcasters say addressing the fake EAS alert hurt and fixing the problem is complex.  The potential for mischief with the Emergency Alert System (EAS) is substantial, says the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB). The NAB was responding to a request by the FCC […]


Why Modern Emergency Alerting May Be Struggling

Struggling to keep up with all of the latest developments in Emergency Alerts Systems and Warnings?
You’re not. Never before have there been so many ways to alert people, yet so many different ways people expect to be alerted and so many challenges. Household names like Google, Twitter, Facebook and The Weather Channel have entered the […]


Are There Shortcomings in the IPAWS system?

Are There Shortcomings in the IPAWS system?
IPAWS is teaming with the International Association of Emergency Managers this week for an online seminar boldly titled, IPAWS: The New Normal for Receiving Alerts.  Among other things, they’re going to talk about technical advancements and functionality, including shortcomings such as geo-targeting and communications between one Collaborative Operating Group […]


Alerting Dashboards Can Streamline the Notification Process

An emergency occurs; it’s time to alert the public. You have a variety of alerting channels to use: sirens, texting, giant voice, IPAWS, WEA, EAS, email, telephone calls, digital signage, social media and the list goes on. You have to hop from application to application to activate. Time is tight. Pressure is high. Resources are […]


Why Don’t People Sign Up To Receive Emergency Alerts?

Why is it so tough to get people to sign up to receive emergency alerts?
A full year after Itawamba County, Miss., implemented its emergency notification system, 25 percent of community households had signed up to receive notifications. Oddly enough, that’s a strong sign-up rate — even extraordinary.

As we’re sure Itawamba officials will tell you, obtaining […]


Matching Needs to Array of Alerting Options

 How Do You Match Your Emergency Alerting Needs to the Confusing Array of Technology Options Available?
A careful needs analysis is the best start for making the right alert technology decisions.  Most communities are served by alerting systems that make telephone calls and send out text messages. When I first got into the business 15-plus years […]


Should Government Alerting Systems Be Used Only For Emergencies?

What County Uses an Automated Emergency Notification System to Alert Businesses?
We hear that Hernando County, Fla., has started using its automated notification system to alert businesses. The Hernando County Sheriff’s Department calls it the Business Emergency Notification System for alerting business owners when something important happens after hours (e.g., break-ins, alarms, unlocked doors, etc.).

This reminds us […]