Today marks the start of National Preparedness Month. Spearheaded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in partnership with Citizen Corps and the Ad Council, National Preparedness Month is an initiative to encourage all Americans to take the necessary steps in properly preparing for urgent situations. After last week’s string of natural disasters, now is a great time to review and revise any and all emergency response plans.

Having sent out nearly 10 million messages in regard to the earthquake and Hurricane Irene, the Blackboard Connect team is experienced and knowledgeable when it comes to communicating during critical incidents.  Our support doesn’t stop at technical issues though – the Blackboard Connect care team helps clients to craft their communications strategy.  As part of that, we also offer Connect Playbooks for our client community to share best practices for communicating with specific challenges – tornados, for example.

While having the right message is one thing, a mass notification system, like Blackboard Connect, can significantly affect how you communicate with stakeholders during critical events. For Seal Beach, California, city officials used Blackboard Connect to alert and inform residents of safety precautions when heavy rains, flooding and an unexpected tornado hit the city almost all at once. After the storm’s passing, officials sent an ‘all clear’ messages to the community, while continuing to send updates alerting residents of areas to avoid due to severe flooding.

With proper preparation, schools, universities and local governments can help ensure the safety and security of community members. Register to become a NPM coalition member today and receive a toolkit with useful, customizable preparation materials. To learn more about how Blackboard Connect can help you enhance the safety and security of your community, watch our Brainshark presentation on effective strategies for communicating during severe weather.

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