Over 1,500 hurricane and disaster preparedness professionals will be in attendance at the National Hurricane Conference in Orlando, Florida on March 26th through the 29th. While there will be many opportunities for attendees to learn about the latest and greatest in hurricane preparedness and emergency management, one of the biggest conversations to have at the National Hurricane Conference is how to improve communication before, during, and after a disaster.
Here are two must-haves our staff in booth #706 think are essential for the 2018 hurricane season.
Web-Based Vulnerable Needs Registry
Enhancing an existing system or buying a new vulnerable needs registry should be a priority for emergency managers this year. Collecting, updating, and managing registry information is expensive, time-consuming, and resource intensive. Consequently, paper and even online vulnerable needs registry information is often inaccurate, outdated, and rarely utilized.
While it might be more inexpensive to build your own registry, purchasing an emergency management platform that is integrated with an existing citizen-populated database has its advantage. Individuals can use one online portal to provide any information about themselves that would be important during an emergency (allergies, apartment number, number of pets, etc.) and opt-in to provide additional information to emergency managers.
Using pre-built web-based vulnerable needs registry during a disaster, emergency managers can easily identify residents in need of assistance, communicate with them, and assign resources to send help. Some databases have an interactive web-based map interface that allows emergency managers to create queries by demographics or location to single out any group or segment in need of assistance.
Targeted Two-Way Communication
When a crisis hits, emergency managers should be able to target and communicate with certain citizens depending on their needs and location. Some tools allow you to not only avoid confusion by sending the right actionable message to the right audience, but can also further narrow down individuals that might need help by adding a poll to the message.
For example, you could send a poll question by text, email, and voice to your at-risk segment to determine their need and ask for a response. Emergency managers can also request current location data with the poll to have a more accurate portrait of where emergency response teams are needed most.
What are other must-haves for the 2018 hurricane season?
Stop by booth #706 to talk more about improved emergency communications.