City information systems enable key messaging during crises
When disasters strike, the City of Dallas must be prepared to assemble and provide the support needed to keep its citizens safe. Seemingly every citizen owns a mobile phone and can be reached 24/7. This accessibility has given cities, municipalities and other public and private-sector organizations expanded options for notifying its citizens and employees of critical real-time information during floods, tornadoes and other natural disasters.
To better serve the people, the City’s Office of Emergency Management (OEM) has adopted the NXT Communicator emergency notification system, a situational awareness application that provides information and mass notifications through multiple device streams including cell phone and text messaging, to ensure its critical emergency and support personnel are accurately informed.
The City currently has 3,000 employees currently using NXT, primarily consisting of specialized response teams, decision making leaders and emergence operations personnel. During an actual emergency situation these individuals are notified to respond to the scene or assemble in the City Emergency Operation Center (EOC) where they can begin coordinating any support needed in the affected area. Use of the system enables the best use of technology to protect and serve the citizens of Dallas.
“Our use of Communicator NXT ensures maximum readiness for disastrous situations,” said Adam Traylor, City of Dallas emergency management specialist. “The ability to quickly notify employees, emergency responders and decision making leaders and instruct them on what steps need to be taken is truly invaluable and better serves and protects the people of Dallas.”
The City’s goal for the NXT Communicator system is to expand the amount of employees registered to receive notifications. This will allow employees to instantly be informed when disasters strike and they can appropriately respond to assist the community in their own facilities and area of work.
OEM also has a program that citizens can sign up for to receive emergency alerts. DallasAlert is a program used to notify residents and businesses about information and necessary actions that are needed to preserve life and safety. This program is an enhancement to the current emergency notification system which relied solely on the use of landline phones.
“Timely and effective communication is the essential component of emergency awareness, management and preparedness,” said Traylor. “Communicator NXT and DallasAlert grant the flexibility needed to make the well-informed notifications and decisions needed to serve the City during times of crisis.”
Citizens can register for DallasAlert by visiting: https://cityofdallas.onthealert.com/Terms/
To learn more about the City Of Dallas’ Office of Emergency Management, visit: http://dallascityhall.com/departments/officeemergencymanagement/Pages/About-us.aspx