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Volume 32, Issue 3

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Thursday, 22 November 2007 03:17

Emergency Notification Technology Improves Severe Weather Response

Written by  Lorin Bristow

In August of this year, Hurricane Charley’s 145 mph winds ripped through Florida, killing several people, forcing 1.5 million to evacuate and causing an estimated $14 billion in damages. Charley was only one of an anticipated 10 tropical storms that develop annually over the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, and Gulf of Mexico, according to the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA). Since 1990 alone, these storms have taken thousands of lives and caused more than $50 billion in damages. Not only are hurricanes highly destructive, they are also unpredictable – a cataclysmic combination that can wreak havoc on even the best laid of emergency response plans. Yet there are many ways to minimize disaster, and the most effective ones involve heightened communication with first responders and communities at risk. Specifically, many in the emergency management field are turning to emergency notification technology as a front-line ally in the battle against the deadly