Gulf Coast Region Issues SMS Text Message Alerts to Elevate Public Safety Before, During and After H

Published: September 6, 2008

LEESBURG, Va – Omnilert®, LLC, maker of Amerilert®, a leading provider of emergency notification systems for business and government, announced that parts of the Gulf Coast were better prepared this time to keep people safe during Hurricane Gustav, a Category 2 hurricane that struck Louisiana on Aug. 31. Several state and local governments in the Gulf Coast region issued multimodal emergency notifications to keep people informed before, during and after Hurricane Gustav. In coordination with other actions, these timely alerts kept emergency responders informed while simultaneously keeping the general public out of harm’s way.

St. Charles Parish, La., was hit hard by Hurricane Gustav. Sheriff Cary Armand had evacuated facilities with help of Amerilert notifications, but was unavailable for an interview at the time of press.

The city of Brandon, Miss. used Amerilert three days before Hurricane Gustav to issue warnings and precautions. Then they used Amerilert during and after Gustav to update first responders as events developed. By the time the storm had passed, they had issued multiple tornado warnings.

“Amerilert worked flawlessly this weekend,” stated Alton Webb, emergency management director for the city of Brandon. “We notified school officials, administrators, the storm team, aldermen, and city employees all with the click of a mouse.”

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Gilbert Crawford, assistant director of Administrative Services Division at the city of Houston Municipal Courts said, “We sent one Amerilert before Gustav arrived and one afterwards. The first one informed people that our announcements related to Gustav will be made via Amerilert. The second one on Tuesday advised people to report to work as conditions permitted safely.”

“We wanted a way to communicate with employees when they are out of the office and Amerilert allows us to do that. We could have sent alerts via email, but not everyone has E-mail access or a PC at home. Most of our employees have a mobile phone or a family member with a mobile phone, so issuing a mass text message alert is the surest way to reach everyone no matter where they are. Amerilert gives us a greater sense of security because we know we can count on this tool.”

Ms. B. Schipper of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality said, “We sent an Amerilert to close the TCEQ offices and warn department employees of irregular office hours due to the storm. We didn’t want people to get hurt during their commute or show up to an empty office with no power.”


Omnilert Sept. 5, 2008 press release

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