Tracking Hurricane Events Using Mass Notification


Tracking Hurricane Events

The 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season started on June 1, and according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association, it is predicted to be an above-normal season. The 2019 season incurred $22 billion worth of damage in the United States as estimated by AccuWeather, highlighting how devastating these severe weather events can be, especially when people are unprepared. To keep people safe, organizations need to make them aware when they are in the path of an approaching storm. This requires monitoring and management to ensure people understand they are in danger and what steps they should be taking to evacuate or seek shelter.

Without the right tools in place, this can be a cumbersome and ineffective process. Organizations need to be able to quickly get information to all of their people so they can begin taking actions that shield them from any potential harm. A mass notification system can help organizations receive alerts about approaching storms and automatically trigger messages to large groups of people. In this blog post, we’ll outline best practices for using mass notification systems during hurricane season.

Hurricane Mass Notifications

When you need to alert people about a hurricane, the two most important factors are speed and reach. Speed is how quickly you can get a message out, and reach is how likely that message is to reach all of your people. Mass notification systems can help with both of these areas by connecting to a wide range of devices and systems that be used to communicate information. Some mass notifications systems can also actively monitor CAP feeds form the National Weather Service to automatically trigger notifications when. Storms approach a particular geographic area. When the trigger is activated messages can then be sent to a select group of people who can determine proper steps for sharing information with a wider audience or to an entire organization.

Mass notification systems can deliver messages to IP speakers, IP phones, desktop computers, digital signage, mobile devices, and more as text, audio, and visual alerts to ensure no one misses a message. Some mass notification systems can also leverage the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) to further extend the reach of messages from FEMA-approved organizations. With IPAWS emergency alerts can be delivered via the Emergency Alert System and Wireless Emergency Alerts to reach people who may not be registered with your organization's mass notification system.

Ongoing Management and Recovery

Hurricanes require ongoing management before, during, and after to help keep everyone safe. Mass notifications systems can help with this by gathering key stakeholders to collaborate following the distribution of an alert. Tools like Microsoft Teams and Cisco Webex Teams can be used as endpoints to deliver mass notifications and invite recipients to join virtual collaborations spaces where they can assess ongoing situations. Similar functionality can be used for conference calls as well. This can help quickly bring together the right people who can determine appropriate actions for closing organizations, encouraging people to evacuate, or issuing alerts about power outages and flooding.

Mass notification can also be used to help organizations manage their recovery once the threat of a hurricane has passed. Notifications can be sent to ask for assistance, check on people’s well-being, and to let people know that your reorganization is reopening or has sustained damage as a result of the storm. These tools offer plenty of flexibility so you can build messages for any kind of situation you may encounter and provide your people with the details that are most relevant to them.

2020 Hurricane Season

According to the BBC, naming storms was an easy way to communicate to the public that they should be aware of approaching storms. Sending alerts with the storm name can help people track the storm on their own through news and social media to stay up to date on its path, as well as potential evacuation orders.

To help you keep track of the 2020 hurricane season, here is a full list of the planned names for the storms. You can prebuild messages with InformaCast mass notification for individual storms and deploy them when the named stormed approaches your area. The names for this year’s storms provided by the National Hurricane Center are:

  • Arthur
  • Bertha
  • Cristobal
  • Dolly
  • Edouard
  • Fay
  • Gonzalo
  • Hanna
  • Isaias
  • Josephine
  • Kyle
  • Laura
  • Marco
  • Nana
  • Omar
  • Paulette
  • Rene
  • Sally
  • Teddy
  • Vicky
  • Wilfred

Singlewire Software is an NOAA Weather-Ready Nation Ambassador. We are committed to collaborating with NOAA, sharing preparedness messaging in outreach to the public, and serving as examples of resilience best practices.




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