Using Mass Notification and Geolocation for Wildfire Alerts

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Wildfire Safety

While organizations need to be prepared for a number of situations that can disrupt continuity and threaten people’s safety, wildfires can sometimes be overlooked when developing a preparedness plan. As past incidents have demonstrated, wildfires can be unpredictable, hard to contain, and in some cases, deadly. Organizations need to be prepared for how a wildfire might impact their operations and how they will alert people with information that will keep them out of harm’s way.

As an NOAA Weather-Ready Nation Ambassador, Singlewire is dedicated to providing best practices and resources that will help organizations prepare for catastrophic events. In this blog post, we’ll outline how mass notification and geolocation can be used to alert people within a particular area about a wildfire.

Mass Notification for Wildfires

Because the threat of wildfires is often based on an organization’s geographic location, one of the most effective ways to set up an area of interest using a mass notification system to alert everyone within a particular area that they may be in danger. Devices connected to a mass notification system, like IP phones, mobile devices, overhead speakers, desktop computers, and digital signage can all be used to send text and audio messages that warn people about a wildfire. Leveraging multiple communication channels helps ensure no one misses a message and helps them take action sooner.

If a wildfire forces your organization to close or damages your facilities you can also use mass notification to communicate with your people while they are remote. This can let them know of schedule changes and help prevent them from entering a potentially dangerous area. Digital signage can communicate to people that your facilities are closed, while mass SMS text messaging and desktop notifications can help you communicate directly with remote workers to minimize disruptions and risk. Mass notification systems can also automatically launch digital collaboration spaces in tools like Microsoft Teams and Cisco Webex Teams to gather key stakeholders who can conduct ongoing incident management.

Help Those in Danger

Mass notification can also be used to help identify and track people who need assistance. Wildfires can happen suddenly due to shifting wind conditions, so you may need to evacuate your facility quickly. You can use mass notifications to send alerts that ask people to indicate if they are safe or need help. Those that respond saying they need help can be tracked by system administrators. This will help them understand where to direct responders who can provide assistance, or offer follow up messages that provide instructions for how to seek safety.

When the threat has passed, organizations can also provide updates on when they will reopen. Using the mobile notification methods mentioned above, organizations can send updates that let people know it is safe to return to get operations back up and running quickly.

For more resources on wildfire safety, visit the National Weather Service website.

 

 

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