Communities Safer During Hurricanes because of REVERSE 911® Emergency Notification System

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In storm mode, Reverse 911 makes outbound emergency notification calls in communities across the United States and Canada. The system improves disaster early warning systems to the general public

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When Hurricane Dennis approached the U.S. Southern Coast on July 12, 2005, the REVERSE 911®, http://www.reverse911.com, Support Team went into “storm mode,” continuously monitoring Dennis and maintaining constant communication with customers in its path. In the week before the storm REVERSE 911® Director of Customer Support, Heather Guntrum, along with two of her specialists, ran a test of the REVESE 911® system installed at each customer location in the path of Dennis.

The main REVERSE 911® feature used in such evacuation instances as hurricane Dennis, is guided by Mass Call™, a trademarked service of REVERSE 911® which offers high volume calling. It allows over 2,000 calls to be made simultaneously. Mass Call™ is used in critical situations, such as hurricanes, in which speed is of the utmost importance. During the test, support specialists were able to verify the customer’s REVERSE 911® plan, and anticipate call success during the disaster. As a result of this precaution, REVERSE 911® customers were prepared for Hurricane Dennis, and confident that all services would remain on-line and in production.

The results were exceptionally well-received. According to REVERSE 911®Â’s Heather Guntrum, “This technology is spec-tacular, and it helps us explain to our customers exactly what kind of success they have had in informing their community. Mass Call™ produces detailed reports of the call sessions. It is evident that our increased customer support during ‘storm mode’ improved our customers’ call success. I have had a lot of positive feedback about the quality and detail of our entire method of preparedness, especially during the lifecycle of Hurricane Dennis. Mass Call™ has become another reliable technology for our customers and it has proven to be ‘emergency-ready’.”

Fortunately, Dennis was a powerful storm that weakened and made a right turn just before making landfall, sparing some cities and other heavily populated parts of the Florida Panhandle. The National Weather Service has made warnings again this year regarding the unusually early arrival of the hurricane season. It is reporting that the 2005 season will have a record number of storms. Dennis’s relatively small size kept Dennis from becoming another Ivan, which killed 29 people in the Panhandle and caused $7 billion in damage across the South last year.

Natural disasters like this recent hurricane, and warnings of another active hurricane season, are the driving forces behind the need for REVERSE 911®Â’s patented technologies. “We’re really excited about the response to REVERSE 911®. We’ve had huge success with its implementation in small rural communities as well as large metro areas. Because tracking these storms is so difficult, preparedness and communication are constant variables in the safety of communities in their path. REVERSE 911® continues to be devoted to public safety and dedicated to our customers who must constantly be ready for storms of this nature,” stated Steve Warren, REVERSE 911® Vice President of Sales & Marketing.

About REVERSE 911®

REVERSE 911®, manufactured by Sigma Communications of Indianapolis, Indiana, is currently used to make outbound notifications in hundreds of communities across the United States and Canada. The system continues to improve lines of communication to the general population and to targeted groups of citizens. REVERSE 911® provides communities with an effective communication strategy for rapidly notifying people in times of crisis such as natural disasters and chemical spills. REVERSE 911® is also a useful tool for reporting missing children or for distributing crime alerts.

REVERSE 911® combines mapping technologies with 9-1-1 calling data in an easy-to-use interface which allows emergency personnel to activate outbound messages in just a few minutes. Recipients of a REVERSE 911® notification may also provide feedback resulting in an immediate report of those who require additional assistance or more information. More details about the REVERSE 911® system can be found on the web at http://www.reverse911.com or by calling 1-800-247-2363.

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Anissa Benich
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