Posted by: Emergency Communications Network | August 28, 2014

CodeRED makes a difference during summer 2014

CodeRED leads to safe return of infant
Galloway, NJ 
A CodeRED notification led to the safe return of a baby whose non-custodial parent took her. Police received a report of a 15-month-old infant taken against court order by her non-custodial parent. The notification was issued with the vehicle information and a picture of the suspect and the child. Within 15 minutes of the CodeRED alert, a local resident and school board employee, Steve Bolli, recognized the suspect vehicle and called 9-1-1.

Police responded to the area and observed the suspect’s vehicle and the child in the rear of the vehicle. Galloway Police ordered Firrincilli out of the vehicle unsuccessfully. Officer Ronald Gorneau then smashed the driver-side window of the vehicle and pulled Firrincilli from the car. Firrincilli was taken into custody and the child was safely.
Read more: http://bit.ly/1qkxaHy

“CodeRED system is key” in alerting residents of virus carrying mosquitoes
Pittsfield, MA 
The 2014 season for mosquito surveillance and control officially started in Pittsfield, Mass., prompting the Berkshire County Mosquito Control Program to keep continual watch on the mosquito population in Berkshire County.

By monitoring the larvae and adult mosquito population, BCMCP was able to confirm the presence of two mosquito borne viruses, West Nile Virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis. Once a virus was detected, spraying began in that targeted area.

Mayor Daniel Bianchi said the use of the CodeRED system was key to notifying residents of any spraying. Once the Board of Health approved a spray, residents in the targeted area got a phone call informing them of the detected virus and the plan in place to address the mosquitos.
Read more: http://bit.ly/1siIJm9

Wildfire updates sent through CodeRED to keep residents safe and informed
Coconino, AZ 
A wildfire started in Coconino County from a downed power line and burned 12 acres in Oak Creek Canyon. Coconino County Emergency Management issued a CodeRED alert for the fire, advising residents to be ready to evacuate if necessary.

CodeRED alerts were issued throughout the afternoon to keep residents informed of the progress of the fire and if evacuation was necessary. Some residents in the immediate area were evacuated by Coconino County Sheriff’s Office deputies going door to door; however, the CodeRED alert did not make a mandatory evacuation.
Read more: http://bit.ly/1li1rYf

County residents “praising the fact they were notified about the severe weather”
Apple Clinton, IL
A severe storm passed through Clinton overnight, triggering a tornado warning and CodeRED weather alert. Several residents reported receiving the warning and waiting out the storm in their basements.

According to Ernie Goetsch, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Lincoln, overnight storms of
that intensity are somewhat unusual.

DeWitt County Sheriff Jered Shofner said residents were praising the fact that they were notified of the severity of the weather, even though there was little damage.
Read more: http://bit.ly/XVHLzh

CodeRED alert issued after suspect fires shots at resident
Franklin, NC 
Franklin Police were looking for a suspect that fired gun shots at a resident. The resident said he thought he heard gun shots, so he went out behind his house and saw someone walking down the driveway of the Church of God. He told them to wait right there, but then the suspect fired two more rounds at him behind his house.

County 911 issued a CodeRED alert within a two mile radius of the scene as a safety measure. The alert asked residents
to remain in their homes and to lock all doors and windows.
Read more: http://bit.ly/1qMdU31

Posted by: Emergency Communications Network | August 21, 2014

CodeRED Weather Warning helps save the lives of Texas couple

Posted by: Emergency Communications Network | August 11, 2014

ECN releases major upgrade to enhance CodeRED Mobile Alert app

Emergency Communications Network (ECN) CodeRED Mobile Alert apphas released a major iOS upgrade to enhance its CodeRED Mobile Alert application, providing subscribers free geographically targeted messages that save lives. The upgrade provides new features to improve the user experience and makes it even easier for subscribers to receive location-specific, often critical messages throughout the United States and Canada from public safety officials who use the CodeRED community notification system to protect and inform residents.

“The CodeRED Mobile Alert app has informed me of tornadoes, other severe weather and missing children alerts. I really like the quickness in which I receive the alerts, the ability to get details in a recorded message and the pin-point accuracy. Many people rely on an app where you plug in your home zip code so you’ll get alerts where you live, but the CodeRED app will alert you based on the GPS location of your phone,” said Kathy Broyard, Emergency Management Specialist for the Florida Presbyterian Disaster Assistance Network.

What’s new with the CodeRED app:

  • It is now free of advertisements.
  • The app features an interactive tutorial. The tutorial will educate users of how the app works, including how to customize notification preferences – indicating the types of safety messages they would like to receive and how they would like to be alerted to the message.
  • Regional warnings are now even easier to access and view. In one click, subscribers may load warnings near their exact location, or immediately view active alerts. Subscribers may now access historical weather alerts based on specific date and time ranges.
  • A revamped settings screen. It will now be easier for subscribers to manage the types of alerts they are interested in receiving and select a personal warning radius for the app to deliver messages from organizations within a specific geographic reach.

The CodeRED Mobile Alert app features comprehensive user support. The subscriber can easily submit a question or provide feedback directly to the app developer, or speak to a live support representative for help.

Enhancements to the Android platform of the CodeRED Mobile Alert app will be released this fall. The CodeRED Mobile Alert app is available for a free download on the App Store℠ or using the Google Play™ store app.

Posted by: Emergency Communications Network | August 6, 2014

CodeRED Mobile Alert app: HOW DOES IT WORK ?

Don Hall, ECN's Director of Government Relations

Don Hall, ECN’s Director of Government Relations

For authorized representatives from public safety organizations:

The CodeRED Mobile Alert app is a sophisticated answer to the question asked by public safety officials nationwide: How can our messages reach residents who are constantly on-the-go and travelers who are just passing through town? The app can reach both of these parties because it is geo-aware and will send a notification to the subscriber if an alert is issued for their specific location. Currently, there are hundreds of thousands of CodeRED Mobile Alert app subscribers nationwide.

Every CodeRED client who has the ability to send calls to their residents through the mapping component also has the ability to launch those messages to the CodeRED Mobile Alert app. When selecting the mobile app function, the message will be delivered instantaneously to app subscribers who are located in the defined geographic area of the alert. The app enhances the success of all public notification efforts, especially during times of critical need.

If you are a CodeRED user but aren’t familiar with this capability, please contact your jurisdiction’s system administrator or your Emergency Communications Network’s (ECN) Client Support Representative today, 866-939-0911.

For smartphone owners:

The CodeRED Mobile Alert app can be downloaded free of charge from the App Store℠ or using the Google Play™ store app. Once downloaded, the subscriber has the ability to select the types of alerts they wish to receive as well as set a warning radius. Community, emergency and missing person alerts are always free. For $4.99, a CodeRED Weather Warning upgrade can be added to the app but is not required for purchase.

The app delivers alert messages based solely on the physical GPS location of the smartphone device. The alerting area is defined by the public safety official who utilizes CodeRED to issue the alert.

Subscribers living in that defined area or passing through that area when the alert is issued or is in the area at some point prior to the expiration time set for the alert, will receive the notification on their smartphone.

For additional information about CodeRED and the Mobile Alert app please visit http://ecnetwork.com/coderedmobilealert/.

IPAWS Emergency Alerts:.

The CodeRED Mobile Alert app only provides alerts from the CodeRED notification system; no alerts will be received from any other vendor. It is important to note that from time to time, your smartphone may be alerted from the FEMA IPAWS system through your cellular provider. A FEMA IPAWS alert known as WEA (Wireless Emergency Alerts) is a push broadcast delivered through cellular towers in the area of the alert and by the cellular providers that participate in the IPAWS government alerting program. Receiving an alert depends solely on the phone’s GPS location.

Most smartphones purchased after 2011 contain an embedded computer chip that is activated through the IPAWS system. This system only notifies smartphone users of Imminent Threat to lives and property, Amber Alerts and Presidential Alerts.

Each smartphone user can access the WEA feature through their phone’s “Settings.” It is here where you can then select the types of alerts you would like to receive through IPAWS. A user may elect to opt-out of everything except the Presidential Alert function.

Although the CodeRED system does provide an alert origination tool with the ability to send messages to IPAWS, it is not connected to the CodeRED Mobile Alert app.

For more information about WEA and the IPAWS program visit the following webpage: fema.gov/ipaws.

You can download the CodeRED Mobile Alert app on your smartphone here.

______________________________________________________________________

ECN’s Director of Government Relations, Don Hall, has spent more than 40 years in public safety so his emergency management experience makes him ideal for helping our current clients, potential customers and the emergency management community to interact with regarding the need and use of mass notification systems for state and local governments.

If you have anything you would like to ask him, please click here to email your question and he will address your question directly in our “Ask Don” blog.

Follow ECN on Twitter and ‘Like’ us on Facebook to get more updates from our company.

Posted by: Emergency Communications Network | July 31, 2014

EPA summertime tips ideal to launch as CodeRED messages

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)logos-CE_081610 recently released tips for a happy and healthy summer. Many tips on EPA’s list can be shared with residents as general messages launched through the CodeRED system and through the CodeRED Mobile Alert app. CodeRED clients can consider the below tips as proactive system use ideas meant to keep residents and visitors informed. Emergency Communications Network’s Client Support team is available 24/7 to help clients launch these messages, 866-939-0911.

Air Quality

Give residents a heads up about air pollutants and the associated health effects that might be of concern. People with heart and lung disease, older adults and children are at greater risk from the presence of air pollutants and should be aware of the air quality in the area.

Water Safety

If your community is located along the coast or has lakes and you expect your residents and visitors to travel to these areas, send out a CodeRED notification to remind them to practice water safety. Help residents be mindful of the environment, particularly nesting sea turtles. Alerts can be launched to the CodeRED Mobile Alert app to keep residents and travelers to the area informed of any swimming risks, such as rip currents and signs of pollution or bacteria.

Lawn Care and Gardening

There are several opportunities for residents to help the environment when gardening and mowing their lawn. If there is a debris pickup in your community to ensure lawn clippings get recycled, issue a CodeRED general alert to advise residents to leave clippings at the curb for pickup. If there is mandatory water rationing, suggest residents avoid watering plants during specific hours and days.

Insects

Warn your residents that biting insects can carry dangerous diseases and stress the importance of taking preventive actions to repel ticks, mosquitoes, and other biting insects. Let your residents know about mosquito spraying and city-wide pest control in the area to help reduce exposure to pesticides.

Heat and Sun

Remind your residents to check the Ultraviolet (UV) Index before planning outdoor activities. According to the National Weather Service (NWS), heat is one of the leading weather-related killers in the United States. You can use CodeRED to warn residents of extreme heat and give them tips on how to protect themselves from the sun.

As a reminder, please feel free to contact either Client Support or your Account Representative by calling 866-939-0911 for assistance using the CodeRED system or to enhance your mass notification capabilities. Follow ECN on Twitter and ‘Like’ us on Facebook to get more updates from our company.

Posted by: Emergency Communications Network | July 23, 2014

Helpful Hints for CodeRED Mobile Alert app Subscribers

logoEmergency Communications Network (ECN) developed the CodeRED Mobile Alert app to provide smartphone users with a way to take the CodeRED Emergency Notification System with them wherever they go. The app provides location-specific notifications generated by public safety officials who use the CodeRED emergency and mass notification system across the United States and Canada.

The CodeRED system is offered in thousands of communities as a way to keep residents informed of critical events via phone, text and email, after they sign up for alerts online. Through push notifications being sent directly to a subscriber’s mobile device, the CodeRED app allows residents to be notified of important emergency information when they are on the go. It is important to note that if your City or County’s public safety agency does not subscribe to the CodeRED service you will not receive alerts through the app.

If you’ve downloaded the CodeRED Mobile Alert app on your iPhone or Android, here are some helpful hints to improve your user experience:

  • Enable location services on your phone. The app uses your phone’s GPS services to deliver location-based multimedia alerts using push technology.
  • Create an app account. Click on the “register” button when the app asks you to sign in, enter your email and create a password. If your City or County offers CodeRED and you have already created an account to receive those alerts, you must register separately to receive the alerts through the app because your account information does not automatically sync with the app.
  • The app is free. Emergency notifications, general notifications and missing person alerts will always be offered free of charge.
  • Weather alerts are an add-on feature. The CodeRED Mobile Alert app comes with a complimentary 30-day trial of CodeRED Weather Warning that automatically sends US-based subscribers, weather alerts from the National Weather Service. This is an upgrade feature that will cost $4.99 per year; however, purchase is not required and the CodeRED app itself is free.
  • The fee for weather alerts does not renew automatically. After your yearly subscription expires, you can choose not to continue to use this part of the CodeRED app by not paying the fee again. You will not be automatically charged for another subscription.

You can download the CodeRED Mobile Alert app here. If you’re happy with what the CodeRED Mobile Alert app has to offer, please consider writing a review on iTunes or Google Play. If you have questions or comments, please call us toll-free at 866-533-6935 or via email at mobilecontactus@ecnetwork.com.

Posted by: Emergency Communications Network | July 17, 2014

ECN completes acquisition of DEAN Alert

ECNLogoEmergency Communications Network (ECN) has acquired DEAN Alert, a Louisville, KY-based provider of outbound notification services. This is ECN’s fifth add-on acquisition in its partnership with global equity firm The Riverside Company. As part of the agreement, ECN acquired all of DEAN Alert’s intellectual property and technical resources.

ECN’s Integration Team has already completed the transition of many newly acquired clients to SmartNotice, ECN’s highly reliable and affordable staff and business continuity notification solution. DEAN Alert clients are benefitting from access to dedicated, full-time, in-house client support and industry-leading high-speed calling, texting and email capabilities.

“Before we complete any acquisition, we want to make sure that we have the client’s best interest in mind. The SmartNotice solution is an immediate upgrade to their existing system and is run on the same platform as our outstanding CodeRED solution. As we continue to welcome our new clients to the ECN family, we are already hearing how our technology is helping make a difference in their individual organizations by providing an integrated approach to staff notification,” said David DiGiacomo, ECN President.

Anchorage Public Schools in Kentucky has already completed their transition from DEAN Alert to SmartNotice. “We really like the features that are enhanced above what we were using before. The system seems easy to use and we like that it can be customized to exactly how we want to use it,” said Kelley Ransdell, Superintendent. Ransdell anticipates using the SmartNotice system to send emergency notices including school cancellations, delays due to weather, road closures that may alter carpool traffic and other events that would impact the school.

“ECN is the clear leader in the notification vertical, and our clients are immediately receiving value-added features and support on a platform that can support literally millions of users,” said Mack Schwab, President of DEAN Alert.

Follow ECN on Twitter and ‘Like’ us on Facebook to get more updates from our company.

Posted by: Emergency Communications Network | July 1, 2014

2014 Hurricane Season: Community awareness should be an ongoing process

Evac routeRecent development of the season’s first tropical system, makes now the perfect time for those public safety agencies with communities located on either the Atlantic or Gulf Coast to tap into their CodeRED system and once again familiarize themselves with the system. Creating and delivering a call or text message to your personal phone as practice is strongly encouraged. In addition, now is the best time to ensure all password and login information is verified. Please do not hesitate to call Emergency Communications Network’s Client Support team at 866-939-0911 for a refresher course of the CodeRED system.

Another important factor now that hurricane season has begun is ensuring residents are not complacent when it comes to receiving CodeRED alerts. To avoid complacency, begin using the CodeRED system prior to any tropical activity to alert coastal citizens that there may be potential storms this season that can impact the area. Let them know in the CodeRED message that the CodeRED system is how they will be notified of all updates regarding future storms during hurricane season. You will also want to use any other form of information delivery that you have at your disposal to heighten awareness of your city or county’s use of the CodeRED system. Consider using broadcast news, print media, local government websites and social media platforms to spread the word about your CodeRED system use.

Along with spreading awareness of your system use during hurricane season, take this opportunity to encourage residents who haven’t done so already, to sign up to receive CodeRED alerts. Direct them to where they can access the Community Notification Enrollment page. Remind them that this communication tool will be used to provide life safety messages as well as general information before, during and after an incident, event or disaster. Messages may include: evacuation details, shelter locations, differences between watches and warnings, protective actions, specific storm or event updates, basic preparedness tips and where to obtain additional information.

If you are not equipped with the completely automated CodeRED Weather Warning System, this might be a good time to contact your Account Representative, 866-939-0911 to learn more about adding that service to your emergency preparedness toolkit. CodeRED Weather Warning delivers severe weather warnings for severe thunderstorms, flash floods and tornadoes just minutes after an alert is issued by the National Weather Service. The system will deliver targeted notifications to only those residents who are in the direct path of severe weather. Turbulent weather surrounding hurricanes and tropical storms poses the strong probability of multiple tornadoes forming in any one jurisdiction. Having a system like CodeRED Weather Warning, doesn’t require any time from staff and will give residents the advanced notice needed to take action before severe weather hits.

By using it to your advantage, the CodeRED mass notification system can be one of the most valuable tools to deliver timely information in advance of a storm. Residents will also appreciate their local public safety officials taking the initiative to inform and prepare them for the impending hurricane season.

As a reminder, please feel free to contact either Client Support or your Account Representative by calling 866-939-0911 for assistance using the CodeRED system or to enhance your mass notification capabilities.

 

Lightning Safety Awareness WeekAs severe weather season continues through the summer, it is important to note that lightning is now at its peak. June 22-28 is 2014 National Lightning Safety Awareness Week, an initiative started by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Weather Service (NWS) to educate communities about lightning safety. According to the NOAA, lightning is the most underrated weather hazard, killing an average of 51 people in the U.S. each year. It is critical for residents to understand how to protect themselves from lightning in the event of a thunderstorm.

Emergency Communications Network (ECN) is using social media to share lightning safety resources with the public. Lightning safety information will be posted on the company’s Twitter and Facebook pages with posts using the hashtag #LSAW.

thunder_roarsResidents living in communities that offer CodeRED Weather Warning are encouraged to sign up for severe thunderstorm notifications or update their contact information on their city or county website. According to the MidWest Severe Storm Tracking Response Center, being outdoors is the most dangerous place someone can be during a thunderstorm; therefore, it is very important to know the weather forecast before leaving the house. CodeRED Weather Warning is a service that automatically sends residents severe weather notifications via phone call, text and/or email, minutes after an alert is issued by the NWS.

Those who are not living in an area that offers the CodeRED Weather Warning service are encouraged to download the CodeRED Mobile Alert app. The CodeRED app is geoaware, making it capable of sending alerts based on a subscriber’s location. There are thousands of CodeRED clients across the U.S. who are capable of launching messages to the app. Any subscriber traveling through these CodeRED client communities will receive the alert directly on their smartphone. The app is free to download and offers free emergency, general and missing person alerts issued by public safety officials using CodeRED. The app comes with a complimentary 30-day trial of CodeRED Weather Warning. Upgrading CodeRED Weather Warning on the app to receive alerts past the 30-day trial is available for a fee of $4.99 per year. Download the CodeRED app for your iPhone or Android here.

Follow ECN on Twitter and “LIKE” us on Facebook to stay informed during Lightning Safety Awareness Week and to learn more about our Company.

Posted by: Emergency Communications Network | June 18, 2014

Ask Don!

We would like to use our CodeRED system to disseminate important non-emergency messages to our citizens who wish to receive them. How can we accomplish this capability without compromising the integrity of our notification system?

Don Hall, ECN's Director of Government Relations

Don Hall, ECN’s Director of Government Relations

This is a very good question, especially since it has been a topic in the news lately. In order to make CodeRED as versatile as possible for our clients, we provide optional database selections to meet the needs and specifics of each message campaign that is launched. The key is setting up protocols and training your system users to recognize how to select the proper database.

Located in the very beginning of the CodeRED message building process is the option to select either an Emergency Database or a General Database for this particular call. When selecting the Emergency Database, the system will access all of the public contact data loaded in your system. This information will come from our nationwide compiled data, the Citizen Opt-In data and any other databases that the client may provide, such as E-911 data, public utility data, etc. As a rule, E-911 data can only be used for making emergency calls.

When the General Database is selected for a non-emergency message, it will only pull the records from the citizens who have signed up to receive these types of messages through the Web-based Citizen Notification Enrollment form. Although not as robust as the emergency data, the general data selection will ensure that the citizens receiving this call have asked to be notified and will not likely be upset over receiving the call. This provides the best solution for you as it allows you to still use your system in this capacity. It also allows you to maintain your integrity by not sending the message to unwanted recipients at the same time.

Generally speaking, the overall tolerance level of the community will vary from one jurisdiction to the other. Most public officials will likely have a feel for that, using other historical events and feedback that was experienced. Keep that in mind as you determine how and when to use your mass notification system in the future. Saving lives is the goal for every public safety official. When used correctly, your CodeRED mass notification system can be the best tool in your tool box in this regard.

______________________________________________________________________

ECN opened up the opportunity for you to connect with Don Hall. Hall has spent more than 40 years in public safety so his emergency management experience makes him ideal for helping our current clients, potential customers and the emergency management community to interact with regarding the need and use of mass notification systems for state and local governments.

This platform was created to make your questions for Hall, heard. If you have anything you would like to ask him, please click here to email your question and he will address your question directly, right here in our “Ask Don” blog.

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