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.

National Cooperative Purchasing Alliance

ECN contracts with National Cooperative Purchasing Alliance

More than 90,000 agencies nationwide will now be eligible to purchase Emergency Communications Network (ECN) services directly through a contract with the National Cooperative Purchasing Alliance (NCPA). ECN’s CodeRED community notification service and Code-ED K-12 notification service will be available to agencies representing both the public and nonprofit sectors.

ECN was selected to provide Mass Notification services following the NCPA’s careful consideration of the quality, performance and pricing of ECN’s services. There are no costs or obligations from eligible agencies participating with NCPA. Agencies interested in ECN products do not have to go out for solicitation as NCPA contracts meet their bidding requirements.

ECN’s Code-ED solution provides K-12 administrators high-speed capabilities to send both routine and emergency notifications to students, staff and parents via telephone calls, text messages, emails, RSS feeds, digital signage and sirens, as well as automated severe weather warnings. Many schools use the Code-ED solution to deliver automated attendance calls.

Code-ED runs on the same robust infrastructure as the industry-leading CodeRED solution, which is used by local, state and federal agencies across the country and Canada. The CodeRED system has been successfully used to relocate thousands of missing children, effectively keep residents informed of severe weather events and serve as a tool to engage first responders for both routine communications and emergency situations.

“ECN’s notification solutions fill a void agencies were asking for regarding mass notification contracts. We look forward to the opportunities this partnership brings to organizations that are in need of a reliable and highly affordable notification solution,” said Jonathan Applegate, NCPA Director of Operations.

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

Posted by: Emergency Communications Network | June 16, 2014

Downloading the CodeRED Mobile Alert app can keep smartphone users safe and informed

 

CodeRED Mobile Alert app

Have you ever left your iPhone or Android at home and felt cut off, stressed out or like some part of you was missing? According to a study from Pew Research Center, 44 percent of cell phone users have slept with their cell phone by their side so they didn’t miss a notification. That same study also found that 67 percent of cell owners find themselves checking their phone for messages, alerts, or calls — even when they don’t notice their phone ringing or vibrating.

We all may know someone who we consider to be “addicted” to their mobile device; however, it is possible that an attachment to a smartphone could actually save your life if you download the CodeRED Mobile Alert app offered by Emergency Communications Network (ECN).

The CodeRED Mobile Alert app is an easy-to-use app designed for iPhones and Androids. It delivers alerts from the CodeRED Emergency Notification System to a subscriber’s device. It allows smartphone users to stay alert and informed through the CodeRED system when they travel away from their community.

The app uses geospatial technology to send alerts based on a user’s location. According to a Google research study about understanding smartphone users, 87 percent of the users surveyed use their smartphone on-the-go. If an app user is traveling in or near a community that uses the CodeRED Emergency Notification System, the app will deliver active alerts for that area as pushed out by local public safety officials.

If you’re always checking your smartphone for notifications and you have the CodeRED app, then you won’t ever miss an alert. These alerts can save you time, help locate a missing person or keep you away from danger. You can download the app here.

Follow ECN on Twitter and “LIKE” us on Facebook to get more updates from our company.

Posted by: Emergency Communications Network | June 9, 2014

Practice safety during National Safety Month by signing up for CodeRED notifications

CodeRED As the leading provider of emergency notification solutions, Emergency Communications Network (ECN) recognizes the importance of safety. June is National Safety Month, a four-week campaign by the National Safety Council to bring awareness to being safe.

In observance of National Safety Month, ECN encourages everyone to take a proactive approach in preparing themselves for emergency events. Residents who live in cities or counties that offer the CodeRED service should visit their local city or county’s website to sign up for notifications. Those who have already signed up should take this time to ensure their contact information is up-to-date. By signing up for CodeRED, residents will receive alerts from local government officials about things that may impact their safety, such as boil water notices, recent robberies and other imminent threats. We urge both clients and residents to spread the word about the CodeRED notification system.

If you’re a resident, tell a family member, colleague, or friend about the CodeRED system and try to get at least 10 other people signed up for alerts. Clients should post the CodeRED sign up page on their city website and on social media to help spread the word to encourage resident sign-ups.

Residents can also download the CodeRED Mobile Alert app on their iPhone or Android. The CodeRED app is geoaware and will deliver location-based alerts directly to a subscriber’s mobile device, so it is perfect for those who travel frequently.

This National Safety Month, it is essential that people become prepared for the unexpected in their community. With CodeRED, this can be possible.

As National Hurricane Preparedness Week comes to an end, it is important for everyone to reflect on how they have prepared for severe weather. Hurricane season begins Sunday, June 1, and will continue for several months until November 30. Even though the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predict a near normal 2014 Atlantic hurricane season, it only takes one storm to create a disaster.

National Hurricane Preparedness Week

Sign up for CodeRED notifications in your area and download the CodeRED Mobile Alert app on your iPhone or Android.

Residents of the coast should be especially proactive in their preparations and use every resource available to them. Emergency Communications Network (ECN) used National Hurricane Preparedness Week as an opportunity to share some of the online hurricane preparedness resources provided by FEMA, NOAA and the National Hurricane Center on social media. Here is a list of some of the resources ECN recommended:

Find information about inland flooding: http://1.usa.gov/1i8K98J

Watch this video to understand wind damage: http://bit.ly/1k8sxyE

Find out how to prepare for storm surge: http://1.usa.gov/1gnwijO

Check out this list of tips from FEMA on what to do after a hurricane: http://1.usa.gov/ReqX2p

How to build a basic disaster supplies kit: http://1.usa.gov/1coaNuq

In addition to pointing toward valuable resources, ECN also encouraged residents to sign up for CodeRED notifications in their area or make sure their contact information is updated on their city or county website. The CodeRED system could play a key role in keeping all residents informed before, during and after severe weather hits. Those who have already signed up for the service were asked to share their county’s sign-up page on Facebook or Twitter and aim to get at least 10 other people to sign up for alerts.

For those who are traveling for work or vacation during hurricane season, the CodeRED Mobile Alert app is easy to download for free on your iPhone or Android. The app is geoaware and will provide subscribers with location-based alerts. You can download the app here.

Connect with ECN on Twitter and Facebook to get the latest updates about our company.

Posted by: Emergency Communications Network | May 27, 2014

Meet the Interns of Emergency Communications Network

Emergency Communications Network (ECN) has three students from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical (ERAU) University interning in its technology department this summer. ECN has had interns from ERAU every year since 2009.

Umar Idris

umarHometown: Nigeria

Major: Software Engineering

Graduation Date: Spring 2015

What are your career plans? I wish to seek a master’s degree in software engineering, specializing in mobile application development. I also plan on gaining more work experience here in the U.S. for at least another year before I return to my home country. In the long run, my goal is to use the knowledge I gain here to help build the tech industry in Nigeria.

What made you want to intern at ECN? The work environment is perfect and everyone here is amazing. I’m really excited to be here and happy to be part of the mobile app team.

Chris Silvano

chris

Hometown: South Daytona, Florida

Major(s): Software Engineering

Expected Graduation: Spring 2016

What are your career plans? I want to be an integral part of the development and success of the next greatest product for a company or industry.

What made you want to intern at ECN? ECN plays an important role in developing software that affects the lives of countless people across the United States and I want to be a part of this team that continues to make and improve these products.

Carey Pfaff

headshot (2)

Hometown: Wormleysburg, Pennsylvania

Major(s): Software Engineering

Expected Graduation Date: Fall 2014

What are your career plans? I plan to continue working as a software engineer developing mobile applications.

What made you want to intern at ECN? ECN gives me the opportunity to work with wonderful people and provides a great learning experience.

ECN also has one student from the University of Florida interning in its Marketing Department as a Social Media and Marketing Intern.

Karilla Dyer

karilla

Hometown: Daytona Beach, Florida

Major(s): Public Relations and Political Science

Expected Graduation Date: Spring 2015

What are your career plans? I want to work in the technology department of a public relations agency for a few years before going back to school to get an MBA with a focus in marketing.

What made you want to intern at ECN? ECN is a company that really cares about its team members and supports each individual’s professional growth and learning.

Are you ready to join the team? ECN is always looking for young, talented individuals to join the ECN family as interns or full-time staff. We invite you to learn more about our open positions here.

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