It is a known fact that text messaging was working even during the Haiti earthquake in 2010.Especially when power is down it is a good idea to conserve power on the cell phones. Texting uses less power. The ability to text your emergency needs is crucial.
The campus police or security and also law enforcement, fire and 911 call centers can have the ability to receive texts through TipNow. The use of TipNow would also lessen the strain on 9-1-1 centers for non-emergency information.
Expanding the use of TipNow into the area of Emergency Management will allow people to text information and needs into the EOC and this can help emergency managers deploy appropriate resources to specific locations when needed. Emergency Managers should have the TipNow portal installed in their 9-1-1 centers and EOC’s to accept text messaging. The two-way communications ability of TipNow would also allow the EOC to provide information to the people when email, networks and the Internet are down during a disaster. We can even send messages back to the people who have texted information into TipNow to guide them and help them with next steps.
Cell towers for voice calls often get overloaded but the SMS text messages can usually still get through. If an EOC, police/fire facilities or 9-1-1 center has a catastrophic failure, the ability for other centers to accept incoming text messaging is crucial since this may be the only way for a damaged facility to report their needs.
“Providence College is a customer of TipNow and they used TipNow during Hurricane Sandy. here is one sample tip:
In case of an electrical power outage during the storm I wanted to let you know that I have Type 1 Diabetes and have insulin that needs to be kept refrigerated. Please let me know if there is anything else I should do”.
-This kind of information will be critical to gather and respond to, this can potentially save lives and make our communities safer.
“During a recent deployment to New Jersey for the SANDY disaster, I observed rows of utility poles down creating long term power outages, landline phone and Internet disruptions and very poor cell coverage, since cell towers had lost power and in the long term, UPS back-ups had started to fail, those towers not on generator power had a difficult time handling the cellular voice network, but text messaging was one of the more reliable ways to communicate in these areas.”
– Koren V. Kanadanian, MS
Director of Emergency Management