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The Sum of All Parts: Government Crisis Communication for a Unified Response

Efraim Petel - Senior Director of Strategic Initiatives at AtHoc

The Sum of All Parts: Government Crisis Communication for a Unified Response

On January 20, 2017, Donald Trump will officially be sworn in as the 45th President of the United States. To call the announcement – and Trump himself – polarizing is putting it lightly. No President-elect in recent memory has generated as much controversy as the former businessman, and security at the ceremony is expected to be incredibly tight to account for number of potential protestors.

"Everybody knows how contentious the campaign was," Christopher T. Geldart, Director of Homeland Security for the District of Columbia, told the New York Times. "Honestly, what really keeps me up at night around this is the ability for us to just allow folks to come in, express their views, and leave safely."

As with previous inaugurations, Trump's will be overseen by multiple agencies – over three dozen in this case, including the Metropolitan Police of Washington, the National Park Service, the FBI, and even the United States military. In addition to the challenges represented by protestors and divided attendees, this presents an entirely new challenge. With so many organizations present, how can they ensure an efficient, unified response to potential security threats?

One word: interoperability. In 2015, President Barack Obama signed H.R.615, known as the DHS Interoperable Communications Bill. As part of an ongoing effort to improve inter-departmental communication, H.R.615 requires the Department of Homeland Security to ensure that its components – which includes agencies such as Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the U.S. Coast Guard, TSA, Secret Service, and more – can easily connect and communicate with one another in times of crisis.

The Department of Homeland Security already employs 240,000 across 24 agencies. Bringing additional organizations into the mix makes things even more challenging, as multiple communication systems need to be made to work together – to say nothing of the herculean task of managing each agency's contact information.

Bringing these disparate elements together and ensuring they can function side-by-side in a disaster scenario requires a crisis communication platform that can integrate with the working parts of every organization. It must be easy to use, and must not require modification of any existing communication tools. AtHoc Connect is just such a platform.

AtHoc Connect goes beyond a simple social media blast and empowers organizations to create their own permission-based communications networks. Tapping into AtHoc's leading crisis communications functionality , it enables all connected members to exchange alerts, share multimedia content, and send geographical-based information with any other connected member. Each member organization manages and controls its own personnel information, and every message Is protected by AtHoc's leading security, trusted by organizations such as the United States Department of Defense.

Most importantly, through our partnerships we've ensured that AtHoc Connect is compatible with the market's leading communication platforms. This allows implementation without the need for a heavy investment, and maximizes your investments in existing infrastructure. And with the ability to subscribe to specific organizational and content feeds, you can ensure you're only seeing information that's relevant to your staff.

Emergencies do not occur in silos. Especially at a major event like Trump's inauguration, it is imperative that the organizations responsible for security can communicate with one another in real-time. AtHoc Connect makes that possible, allowing for faster decision-making, better coordination, and improved communication in situations where even a few seconds' delay can be catastrophic.

See what AtHoc can do for your business here, or click here to learn more about AtHoc Connect.

Efraim Petel - Senior Director of Strategic Initiatives at AtHoc
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