In Case of Emergency, Read This Blog

In Case Of Emergency, Read Blog

A Citizen’s Eye View of Public Preparedness

How Do You Warn 8 Million New Yorkers (Another) Tornado May Hit NYC Any Minute? 4 Suggestions: More Info, Text Alert Signups, Media Cooperation, Practice

September 18th, 2010 · No Comments

On Thursday night, twin tornadoes and a microburst went through New York City killing one person, ripping out 150 trees and damaging a number of cars and homes.
Tornadoes are clearly not typical here in the Big Apple — though we had a similar if less serious incident with them earlier in the summer. But it [...]

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Tags: City Preparedness · Preparedness 2.0

Was BP Explosion (& Other Recent Accidents) The Result Of “Alarm Fatigue”?

August 1st, 2010 · 3 Comments

In today’s New York Times, there’s an interesting article by Matthew Wald that raises the question whether “alarm fatigue” has led to major accidents, such as the BP Deepwater Horizon incident.
According to the piece, “For No Signs of Trouble, Kill the Alarm,”:
When an oil worker told investigators on July 23 that an alarm to warn [...]

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Tags: Emergency Alerts

“We Interrupt PlayStation ‘Rock Band’ To Bring You This Important Announcement…” — State Testing Idea To Send Emergency Alerts Through Online Gaming Systems

November 22nd, 2009 · No Comments

New York State is experimenting with an idea to distribute emergency alerts (including the NYAlerts mentioned in the previous post) over online gaming networks. According to an article.
The goal, said New York State Deputy CIO Rico Singleton, is to reach younger residents who spend more time on the Xbox, PlayStation, or Wii than with television [...]

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Tags: Preparedness 2.0 · Preparedness Ideas

“The Best Notification”: A System Of Systems?

November 2nd, 2009 · No Comments

A new post, “The Best Notification,” by Rick Wimberly on’s Alerts and Notifications blog summarizes an interesting report Wimberly issued this year, Notifications, Alerts, Warnings: The Next Generation.
As governments at all levels try to determine the optimal alert/warning systems, Wimberly, president of Galain Solutions, argues for a “system of systems” which encompasses myriad distribution methods:
Get five [...]

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Tags: Preparedness Ideas · Preparedness Reports

Memo To ‘Color Alert’ Task Force: Put Your Citizen Hats On, Design With/For Public, Integrate Into Overall Citizen Preparedness Program, Consider All-Hazards Approach (Maybe Starting With H1N1), Replace Changing Colors With Consistent Communications, Advisory Should Be Two-Way, Let Public In ‘The Bubble’, Utilize Social Media

July 22nd, 2009 · 8 Comments

U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced last week that she was appointing a task force to examine the future of the Homeland Security Advisory System (HSAS) better known as the (much maligned and parodied) color-coded alerts.
Following a 60-day review period, the bipartisan task force will present its findings to Napolitano, who will in turn discuss them [...]

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Tags: Preparedness Groups · Preparedness Ideas

Are Hurricane Categories Citizen Friendly? And Does Media Give Too Much Attention To ‘Hurricane Holdouts’ Rather Than Those Who Follow Warnings?

July 1st, 2009 · 1 Comment

In last week’s “Homeland Security Inside & Out” radio show, Amanda Ripley, author of The Unthinkable, had some interesting criticisms of how authorities currently warn people on impending hurricanes:
*In response to questions from interviewer Dave McIntyre, Ripley said a fundamental problem is that the way we inform citizens of hurricane threats is “flawed. It’s not [...]

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Tags: Hurricane Preparedness

NotifyNYC, New York’s Emergency Text/EMail/Phone Alert Service, Goes Citywide

May 28th, 2009 · 1 Comment

Starting today, NotifyNYC, New York City’s emergency alert system, will cover the entire Big Apple. Notify NYC was first launched on a limited basis in December 2007, offering participants in four pilot areas of the City the ability to register for alerts and notifications about significant events in their communities. Notify NYC services are available by email, text [...]

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Tags: City Preparedness · Preparedness 2.0

Lesson Learned: E-Mail/Text Alert Just Sent Out To Warn New Yorkers “Military Plane Will Fly Down And Back Up Hudson River” Today

May 11th, 2009 · 1 Comment

Fifteen minutes ago (at 9:58am), I received an E-mail and text alert from New York City’s Notify NYC alert system saying:
This is a message from Notify NYC. Notification 1 issued 05/11/09 at 10:00am. As per the FAA, a military plane will fly down and back up the Hudson River between the hours of 10:30 to [...]

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Tags: City Preparedness · Preparedness 2.0

Military Plane Scare Over New York City Underscores Need To Use Communications Tools To Alert Public In Advance

April 27th, 2009 · 6 Comments

At 10:39am today I received a text message and email from the City of New York’s NotifyNYC alert program saying that: “Planes observed flying over Lower Manhattan were part of an approved federal activity.” I happened to be at a hospital clinic at that moment so I had no idea what that message meant. A [...]

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Tags: Preparedness 2.0