In 2011, the City of Seattle decided to select a new emergency notifcation system because their existing system wasn’t being used because it was out of date and difficult to use. As a result, the City had a diminished ability to alert the public.
After establishing mandatory, technical, and security requirements, the City of Seattle, with the sponsorship of 8 departments, released the RFP on July 23, 2014.
The City of Seattle’s goal was to draft an RFP that enabled meaningful response by vendors and the final selection based on conducting challenging on-site demonstrations and interviews. Sheppard stated that, “in the final review of any vendor selection process you never get all you want. Hopefully, you get what you really need and the vendor works with you to address your needs into the future.”
In December 2014, the City of Seattle selected Rave Mobile Safety’s Rave Alert product as the City’s hosted emergency notification and alerting system, AlertSeattle.
AlertSeattle intended to meet 3 primary objectives:
- Sending emergency information for taking immediate life-protective measures during emergency events
- Rapidly mobilizing emergency responders during events such as active-shootings, serial arson, urban flooding, landslides or possible oil train derailments
- Sending important, non-emergency notifications to individuals who have chosen to receive them
Some of the challenges in implementation were how to create and maintain employee contact information, lack of residential landlines, using reliable automatic text translation, incorporating AlertSeattle into department operations, and implementing a successful marketing strategy to generate sign ups.
In the “AlertSeattle: From Planning to Launch - An Insider View” webinar, Sheppard outlines the how a clear project scope, a formal program charter, and a strong project management approach contributed to the AlertSeattle’s implementation and launch success.
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