The critical communications system sent over a million messages during the course of the weekend
Global software company Everbridge used its critical communications and enterprise safety applications to support communities and businesses across Florida when Hurricane Matthew struck earlier this month.
As residents were forced to evacuate their homes and counter unprecedented rainfall, wind, power outages, road closures and other incidents, the Everbridge critical comms system was used by over 900 counties, cities, businesses, transportation authorities and hospitals in the south-eastern United States to send millions of messages over the course of the weekend.
Global organisations also used the Everbridge platform to communicate effectively to impacted employees and customers located in the path of the storm.
“With Hurricane Matthew, it was critical to our organisation that we communicated decisive and actionable emergency information to our customers,” said Randy Sheltra, SSH, VP Safety, of cash management solution firm Loomis Armored US. “The Everbridge platform enabled us to easily deliver critical alerts to these customers across Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina, helping to ensure their safety and awareness of the most up-to-date emergency information throughout the course of the storm.”
In Florida, the statewide emergency notification programme, AlertFlorida, is powered by Everbridge, whose software can automate and accelerate the process of keeping people safe during critical events. During the lead-up to Hurricane Matthew, and throughout the course of the storm, the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) leveraged Everbridge’s system for internal communications between members of the State Emergency Response Team (SERT), as well as for the distribution of public notifications to millions of residents in the state, providing them with critical alerts and evacuation orders.
The FDEM also embedded an Everbridge employee in the State Emergency Operations Centre for five days to support the state and counties during the devastation caused by Hurricane Matthew.
The SERT also utilised Everbridge’s Community Engagement application to establish the keyword, FLPREPARES, and encourage residents, first responders and family members to sign up for alerts by texting the phrase to 888-777. This very simple “opt in” method provided the state with an additional way to help ensure that their critical messages were being received. After launching the keyword and promoting it during Governor Rick Scott’s press conferences on Thursday, October 6, the state received more than 350,000 opt-ins in less than 24 hours. In his press conference regarding the storm, Governor Scott commented that the alerts “can save your life.”
“Our customers demonstrated exceptional preparedness and resiliency during Hurricane Matthew. We are proud to have worked with the State of Florida and many other communities and organisations in a programmatic way to help them inform and instruct their citizens and employees,” said Jaime Ellertson, CEO, Everbridge. “Time and again we see that having multiple means of engagement is crucial to ensuring that critical safety communications are received, and Hurricane Matthew was no exception.”
Communities and organizations across Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina continue to utilise the Everbridge suite in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew. The system’s multiple methods for delivering critical communications are designed to ensure performance in the event that power outages or overloaded phone lines compromise an individual communication path.
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