Being prepared is the next ideal thing to avoiding disaster completely and today’s technology is making it easier than ever to be ready for whatever Mother Nature decides to throw our way.
It’s difficult to imagine that just a mere 20 years ago, the daily use of cell phones, email and text messaging was nowhere on the radar screen, yet this day we count on all these technologies to keep us informed and in touch. And now that we’re at the height of the hurricane and tornado season, having instant access to weather alerts can be a literal lifesaver.
Town and organization websites can become “go to” sources for real-time emergency notification information by subscribing to a RSS (Rich Site Summary) feed such as CNN. RSS grants for the delivery of regularly changing content; this alert mechanism can be administered through the website’s content management system.
Also, many municipalities and organizations offer mass emergency notification services through automated “phone trees” which can simultaneously send an emergency alert to thousands of people over a wide variety of communications platforms, including email, land phones, cell phones, pagers, smart phones and faxes.
Through the use of these automated mass notification systems, messages can be sent via the Web or by phone, so that critical alerts can be sent and received in the loss of Internet connection.
Twitter is another remarkable tool for “getting the word out.” In fact, an increasing number of emergency management agencies are using social media, such as Twitter and Facebook, to help circulate emergency information. This approach to information dissemination has a built-in positive domino effect; those following the Twitter user can “re-tweet” to their contacts, continuing the transmittal of vital alerts.
Also, smart phone users can sign on for applications that deliver real time notifications sent as alerts to their phones.
And in addition, some municipalities, schools and organizations implement a text messaging emergency alert system to convey weather, fire, health-related and other warnings.
With the technology available these days, there’s no reason anyone should be left in the dark.
Kevin McNally, of Fall River, is the president/founder of Interactive Palette, a Fall River based web design and hosting company.
Submited at Saturday, July 16th, 2011 at 12:00 am on Uncategorized by Gillan
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