Musings on personal and enterprise technology (of potential interest to professional technoids and others)

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Getting Proactive on Disaster Communication, eWeek 27aug2007

The SaaS for alerts (provided by MessageOne's AlertFind) as described here seems interesting, definitely relevant beyond the academic world as well. But what seemed even more creative was the idea that you don't necessarily have to use your regular communications infrastructure for emergency alerts (ideally eliminating the "information overload" as suggested in the final sentence, if you use this ONLY for emergency alerts):

Colleges Getting Proactive on Disaster Communication: Page 2:

"Middlebury College, established 150 years ago, is in the process of installing AlertFind now. Located in Middlebury, Vt., Middlebury also operates the C.V. Starr-Middlebury Schools Abroad at 28 sites in 12 countries. With students, faculty and staff in Middlebury and spread around the world, it would be difficult to deliver emergency instructions or account for college community members in the event of a crisis or disaster.

Once the new system is implemented, Middlebury will be able to rapidly and automatically communicate with faculty, staff and students in the event of any crisis or disaster. Administrators will no longer have to distribute critical messages manually through a broadcast e-mail or voice mail.

When an incident occurs, Middlebury crisis managers will be able to quickly and automatically send important notifications to affected community members. As long as the recipient has access to a landline, text messaging device, cell phone or e-mail, he or she can receive an emergency notification anywhere around the world. The system, which can differentiate between a real person and voice mail, is able to deliver a spoken electronic or recorded message and even ask questions such as, 'Are you OK?' in the event of a crisis. These responses will be available to crisis managers in real time....

Unlike free text message systems backed by advertising dollars, AlertFind is a dedicated tool for text and voice-based emergency communication. Since the system is only used in emergencies, AlertFind prevents the "message fatigue" associated with ad-based systems where users may ignore important notifications, assuming they are spam."

Kudos as well to a fellow blogger whose entire "Emeregency Notification" blog focuses on this topic, lots lots more on this topic :-)
Start here:

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