The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency does not use AtHoc. Perhaps they should?
This last Saturday, Hawaiians found themselves warned of an imminent ballistic missile threat. This horrifying message was delivered to users phones in the form of an emergency alert from the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency. Luckily, this alert was simply a mistake, but that didn’t make it any less frightening. Would things have been different had a different crisis communication method been used? Could things have been different had AtHoc been used?
AtHoc is a crisis communication software owned by BlackBerry. The software is the only software of it’s kind which “has successfully undergone FedRAMP authorization and is used by more than 75 percent of the U.S. Government and Fortune 500 companies.” The U.S. Department of Defense, Army, and American Red Cross are among those that use AtHoc.
The alert sent out in Hawaii was a mistake. And stayed in place for far too long. BlackBerry offers an ongoing training and certification program for operators of their system, which should help avert mistakes of this nature. The AtHoc system also allows for end-to-end network tests without touching the production mode, ensuring that testing does not result in false alarms going out to users.
The AtHoc system also allows for geo-targeting, and gives operators the ability to coordinate between organizations to ensure that alerts go to those that need them, and are not causing panic where they shouldn’t be.
As some world events seem to be building to critical levels, shouldn’t we be using software that is truly mission critical ready?
Source: Inside BlackBerry