It's a Forest Fire... How Do We Warn Everyone?

It's a Forest Fire... How Do We Warn Everyone?

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Forest Fire

The call comes in just after 7 p.m. The police chief is looking over the day's report when she receives a call from the local park ranger that a forest fire is heading in the direction of the town. The police chief gathers the details and alerts the rest of the force about the situation.

Now it's time to take action. The police chief gets on her computer, presses a button, and within seconds residents are automatically receiving emergency alert messages warning them about the approaching forest fire. All over town, phones are ringing, mobile devices are beeping and people are reading emails. The police grab their coats and head out to help spread the message, direct traffic and answer questions.

Preparation is key

Six months before the initial fire warning call came in, the police force set up a communication plan using the SimplyCast 360 Automation Manager. They created their plan with a single crucial goal in mind: alert all residents of the town about emergency situations immediately when they happen. The Event module in EmergHub is designed to create emergency plans that can be used to send out emergency alerts to many recipients over multiple channels of communication.

The police force pre-created voice messages, SMS messages, and emails. Together, these three methods allow for people to be contacted directly through their landline, mobile device or computer. The police created multiple emergency scenario communication plans which can be activated with a single click when every second counts. They created an event for fires, one for bomb threats, even one that sends out a mass blizzard warning. The content of the emergency alert messages is slightly different but the structure of each campaign is exactly the same: contact each and every resident and do it quickly.

Collect emergency alert data in advance

Initially, the police contacted every resident and found out who had landlines, who carried mobiles and who had active email accounts. They input the data into a list in the system and now, whenever they need to, they can activate the communication plan and send out their alert messages automatically. Police still canvas the town to provide warnings and assistance, of course, but by the time they head out the door of the station, the town's residents are already packing up and evacuating.

Saving time can save lives. It is almost impossible to predict when an emergency will happen. But if you can be prepared, and can contact everyone who might be in danger as quickly as possible, you can prevent a larger disaster and keep more lives from being affected.

Learn more

Read more information about EmergHub, our newest innovation geared specifically for emergency communication!

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