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Advantages of BlackBerry AtHoc’s Integrated Weather Alerts for Emergency Response

Advantages of BlackBerry AtHoc’s Integrated Weather Alerts for Emergency Response

“Forewarned is forearmed”, according to an old Latin saying. In other words, information and preparation can prevent disastrous outcomes.

These days, weather emergencies are occurring more and more often. From devastating hurricanes to extreme heat waves to wildfires and earthquakes, you’re never too far away from an abnormal weather event.

When one of these events occur, many disparate parties need to be involved. You have dispatchers, emergency response units, state officials, local officials, and often large groups of employees or personnel. The National Weather Service (NWS) has played a key role in helping these disparate parties align with the same information.

Blackberry AtHoc recognizes the critical role of the NWS in predicting severe weather, sending out recommendations, and helping concerned citizens prepare for the worst. That’s why BlackBerry AtHoc has integrated the NWS into its Integrated Weather Alerts (IWA) module. Here are five things you should know about IWA.

  1. The IWA module automatically activates alerts to affected users.
  2. You don’t always have time to manually send out alerts in the midst of a severe storm, wildfire, or hurricane. That’s why IWA can automatically trigger alert templates based on the feed content included such as:

    • Feed expiration time
    • Instructions
    • Detailed description
    • Ability to insert custom actions based on templates as well

    It’s no longer on you to check the weather and make a judgment call. Your system will trigger an alert template as soon as the NWS deems that the weather conditions warrant it. You set the criteria for the types of weather events that qualify as emergencies, because you know your organization’s needs best of all. The system then automatically monitors events and alerts personnel when the criteria are met. If you want to ignore everything but hurricanes or high severity events, the system will do that.

  3. With IWAs, you can target relevant users in a specific geographic location.
  4. Down to the neighborhood, the NWS integration means you can send messages to users in a specific location. If a natural disaster will have more severe ramifications in certain areas, you’ll be able to seamlessly send personalized communications to that area. This feature saves you from raising panic in non-affected areas, while still collaborating with areas that need help.

  5. The NWS is working 24/7 on your behalf with IWA.
  6. The NWS is the weather expert - it has the latest information on tornadoes, dust storms, flooding, and other disasters. By integrating with the Blackberry AtHoc suite of products, IWAs become your organization’s own personal meteorologist. You’ll receive critical warnings and forecasts, so you don’t have to remember to check the weather or decode complicated meteorology statistics and data.

  7. You create your own rules with the IWA module.
  8. You can personalize your organization’s alert templates so that they’re as effective as possible. You can include information on content, targeting, maps, applicable devices, and more. You can set your alert template to activate, or to override map flags from the NWS feed. You can also create the scope for when your alerts will be triggered, as well as the message type. You have more control with IWA integration, when you can choose what to ignore and what to flag.

  9. IWAs aren’t technically complicated.
  10. Even though IWAs have cloud-scalable integration, they don’t require setup from an AtHoc engineer. If you’re a system admin, you can set up IWAs and create alert templates. There are no complicated technical steps or permissions needed. You’ll still receive the increased accuracy, quick alert delivery, and ability to receive events during off-duty hours.

    So why use IWAs? You’ll reduce response times to severe weather, automate weather alerts to end users, and have the ability to target relevant users in a specific geographic location.

    For more information, contact your account relationship manager today.

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