On June 1 Pittsburg County implemented a new mass notification system "Rave Mobile Safety,” to help the public be more aware of weather and other significant public safety threats.
"This system enables public safety and emergency management personnel to provide critical information quickly in a wide range of situations," said Shawn Smith, Pittsburg County 9-1-1 Director.
McAlester-Pittsburg County Office of Emergency Management Deputy Director Lois Lupardus said it is important that those who have been using the Blackboard Connect system know they must register for the Rave Mobile Safety mass notifications system in order to receive important alerts they were receiving from Blackboard.
"Blackboard (Connect) will no longer work after May 31," Lupardus said. "If you do not sign up for the new system, you will no longer be receiving alert messages from the city and county."
Lupardus Rave Mobile Safety uses all available communication methods; cell phones, landline telephones, email, text, and social media.
"Rave uses an opt-in, online registration; citizens enter basic contact information into a secure national database," Lupardus said. She added that you can register online at the city of McAlester's website, www.cityofmcalester.com, and locate the “Pittsburg County Notification System" icon, or register by visiting the Pittsburg County website,pittsburg.okcounties.org.
"Citizens who are unable to complete the online registration may contact the McAlester-Pittsburg County Emergency Management Office by calling 918-423-5655, or the McAlester-Pittsburg County E911 Center by calling 918-423-9300, extension 4928, for registration assistance."
Lupardus said Rave supports a special needs and vulnerable needs database called Smart Prepare. Smart Prepare provides critical data which easily allows identification of residents with disabilities, medical, access, or functional needs, to allocate resources accordingly. Inquiries by text and voice can be sent to at-risk citizens to determine their needs during emergency situations, she said.
"Rave has the fastest text messaging delivery speed in the industry," Smith said.
Lupardus also said the Rave system has three times the capacity of most other mass notification services, which translates into sending text messages at a rate of over 50,000 per minute. Rave provides multi-lingual messaging with automated translation as well.
"Rave supports two-way messaging capability for voice, text and email," she said. "Public Safety will be able to receive real-time responses from staff and citizens during an emergency."