Thursday, December 14, 2006

Emergency Alert System

Mrs. Pennell, our school Business Administrator, was very impressed with a presentation regarding a county service that we will be looking to employ in the near future. I have attached below some information about the Roam Secure system from the company’s website. Gloucester County has purchased access to the system and is making it available to schools in the county. Woodbury is excited about what the system will allow for our schools as a way to provide information to our community in the case of emergencies.

This information is very preliminary -- kind of advanced, insider’s information for blog users. I anticipate that it will take some time to finalize our connection with the county service. Once we have that completed, we will advertise the chance for families to join.

From the Roam Secure website:

Roam Secure® is the leader in deploying and managing emergency text alerting systems with its flagship product the Roam Secure Alert Network (RSAN™). RSAN is setting the national standard for text alerting each day as more and more people join the tens of thousands of government leaders, first responders, employees, critical infrastructure security personnel, businesses and citizens that rely upon the award winning emergency alerting system. RSAN has continually proven reliable and successful at reaching out to citizens, employees and key personnel over the past several years during all types of routine emergencies and regional crises. RSAN’s patent-pending technology delivers targeted information quickly and efficiently, with the capability to send 18,000 messages per minute, per server and it has delivered millions of messages during all-hazards events.

RSAN leverages text-based technology, such as SMS, to reach text-enabled devices including pagers, cell phones, PDAs, Blackberry, Treo, satellite phones, XM Satellite radio, instant messaging and e-mail. These messages provide essential information to targeted groups about where to go, what to avoid, and other important time-sensitive information to secure public and personal safety during an emergency. RSAN also provides efficient two-way communication, through a combination of cell phones, pagers, Blackberry, PDAs, email and desktop alerts. Cities, Counties and States use RSAN for routine paging and dispatch and to warn millions of citizens and businesses in seconds with specific, targeted information during emergencies. RSAN has also been attributed to saving lives during severe weather, helping find missing children and elderly persons and tracking down crime suspects.

In the United States alone more than 194 million adults carry their cell phones with them at all times, and more than 37.5 billion SMS messages were sent in the first 6 months of last year – making text communication an imperative way to reach individuals anywhere, anytime. In addition, as proven time and again during the London bombings, 9/11 and hurricanes Katrina and Rita – text works when other traditional forms of communication fail.

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