The Importance of Self-Registration
With the public focused on the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, now is a good time to encourage your citizens, volunteers, employees and stakeholders to self-register their cell phone, Voice over IP phone number, e-mail address, and other contact information.
The news coverage of recent disasters often touches on the use of mass notification systems and one of the biggest challenges faced by organizations is the lack of contact information. It becomes increasingly difficult to deliver important alerts when so many have cut the cord and now rely solely on mobile phones.
FEMA’s Integrated Public Alerting and Warning System (IPAWS), allows local officials to send alerts to cell phones without requiring the public to sign up, but the system has many limitations. The IPAWS/CMAS system enables approved local authorities to send alerts to mobile phones in a targeted geographical area, but it can only reach those who (1) have a CMAS/WEA enabled smartphone, and (2) are physically located in the area at the time of the alert.
The Denver Post published an eye-opening example from the recent wildfires in Colorado. They discovered a huge gap between the adult population in any given county versus the number of cell phones registered to receive alerts. For example, El Paso and Teller Counties have a combined adult population of over half a million people, but the counties have only 13,000 registered cell phone numbers. That represents just 2.5% of the adults in the area.
If have not already taken advantage of Rapid Notify’s Self-Registration option, please contact us today.