Precise Emergency Messaging Safety-PIO-SM-14-002

14-002: Precise Emergency Messaging
Agency: Indianapolis Motor Speedway Topic(s):         Emergency Messaging
Date: Summer 2014 Platform:        General

Mass notification and public messaging about dangerous inbound weather is the latest hot button topic in emergency management because no matter the location, everyone is susceptible. This year has been especially deadly with numerous tornadoes.

You can argue the use of automatic Emergency Alert System (EAS), Integrated Public Alert & Warning System’s (iPAWS) messages, and public address systems are good enough, but successful delivery still comes down to basic messaging.

On May 25, 2014, this message was put up on the main billboard on the field during the Indianapolis 500, which had 300,000+ fans during race time. The National Weather Service (NWS) declared a Tornado Warning before the start of the race.

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Race Fans? C’mon, you have a captive audience at the motor speedway. And you are addressing everyone there, not just race fans. Most likely, your audience is saying “Great, now what is a Tornado Warning?

Clear and concise messaging is incredibly important because seconds will matter in an immediate evacuation or leading others to shelter…especially with large, open, and unprotected public venues. This particular message was unclear, poorly worded, and definitely not concise.

A more effective messaging and follow-up post should have read:

DANGER! TORNADO WARNING NOW – SEEK SHELTER IMMEDIATELY!

Safe SHELTERS are located at AREA X and GATE X

By phrasing it this way:

1. Your message is short, sweet, and to the point.

2. Capital letters will grab the attention of your audience and convey urgency.

3. Have clearly identified safe locations IN CAPITAL LETTERS will assist those reading your message.

4. Shorter messaging could allow your followers to retweet/repost and amplify your emergency messaging.

5. It is still tornado season so make sure you are prepared by having pre-scripted messages on “what is a tornado warning” and messaging on how to “shelter-in-place”.

 

All concurrent Tweets, Facebook posts, Instagram posts, etc. should reflect this messaging. If a Tornado warning is issued, timing is of the essence. Do not be lax when it comes to emergency messaging because you don’t want to ruin the fun. For the sake of your constituents, it is better to error on the side of safety.

Time is valuable, so post good stuff.

@rusnivek

 

***To download this as a single-page printable format, click this: Safety-PIO-SM-14-001

Free Wireless Emergency Alerts from @FEMA #OHWX #Prepareness2014

It’s 2014 National Severe Weather Awareness Week from March 2nd through March 8th.

Today, we will focus in on wireless mobile notification alerts!

Have you heard of Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEAs)?

  • Alerts received at the right time can help keep you safe during an emergency. With WEA, warnings can be sent to your mobile device when you may be in harm’s way, without need to download an app or subscribe to a service.
  • You can receive important lifesaving alerts no matter where you are – at home, at school, or at work. Numerous public safety officials use reliable systems to alert you and your family in the event of natural or man-made disasters. Many communities also offer emergency alert notifications through their own systems.

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Do you know what the Emergency Alert System (EAS) is used for?

  • The Emergency Alert System (EAS) is a national public warning system that requires broadcasters, satellite digital audio service and direct broadcast satellite providers, cable television systems, and wireless cable systems to provide the President with a communications capability to address the American people within 10 minutes during a national emergency.

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Meshing all technologies together, do you know how the Integrated Public Alert & Warning System (IPAWS) is already helping everyone?

  • The Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS), is a modernization and integration of the nation’s existing and future alert and warning systems, technologies, and infrastructure.
  • IPAWS’ EAS is the message dissemination pathway that sends warnings via broadcast, cable, satellite, and wireline services. EAS may be used by state and local authorities, in cooperation with the broadcast community, to deliver important emergency information, such as weather information, AMBER alerts, and local incident information targeted to specific areas.
  • The Emergency Alert System (EAS) is a national public warning system that requires broadcasters, satellite digital audio service and direct broadcast satellite providers, cable television systems, and wireless cable systems to provide the President with a communications capability to address the American people within 10 minutes during a national emergency.300by250_Spanish_5

At this time in Ohio, the Integrated Public Alert & Warning System (IPAWS) authorities who have completed the authentication steps are:

1. Ashtabula County

2. Clark County

3. Delaware County

4. Fairfield County

5. Geauga County

6. Lucas County

7. Ohio Emergency Management Agency

8. Tuscarawas County

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Hope you are paired with one of these local agencies to receive better information during severe weather or major emergency…otherwise, you’ll be left out in the dark.

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@rusnivek