Keeping Up with the Times: Modernizing Emergency Management Systems
By Allison G. S. Knox
Contributor, EDM Digest
Warning the public of an impending dangerous weather event is one of the most important elements of emergency management. By alerting the public with a reliable warning system, emergency managers can limit some of the risks associated with emergencies.
Warning systems have long had a positive effect on emergency management and crises. For example, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has a tsunami warning system in the Pacific.
Similarly, Emergency Management magazine reports that Longmont, Colorado, replaced its trouble-plagued tornado warning system with a new system that includes applications like Facebook and Twitter. While sirens had worked well in the past for Longmont, according to USA Today, the system utilizing smartphones’ GPS technology quickly transmits emergency messages to residents in the storm zone.
Emergency Managers Must Seek New Ways to Communicate with Local Residents
As times change and technological systems become antiquated, emergency managers and others in public safety fields must figure out how to reach their audience.
For example, the phone book has become as archaic and as rare as the phone booth. People usually now use Google or other search engine apps on their smartphones to get information. So it would not be wise to include emergency management preparation advice in a phone book any more.
It is important for emergency managers to consider changing times and methods when designing system updates.