Agencies blast out hurricane warnings on every medium

Emergency responders are taking full advantage of a range of new communication systems to try to get the word out about safety precautions as Hurricane Irene sweeps up the East Coast.

In a speech from Martha's Vineyard on Friday, President Obama urged Americans to listen to government officials for instructions and warnings.

"So the more you can do to be prepared now -- making a plan, make a supply kit, know your evacuation route, follow instructions of your local officials -- the quicker we can focus our resources after the storm on those who need help the most," he said.

To help people make plans, as well as to educate them about evacuation routes and other instructions, government agencies are using almost every form of communication possible, from television to Twitter.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is directing people in the hurricane's path to websites, Twitter feeds, Facebook pages, and mobile apps.

Nongovernmental organizations and companies are getting in on the action as well. Google and Facebook both have Web pages dedicated to information about the storm. And the Red Cross offers an online database where people can register and let loved ones know that they're safe.

In addition to using social media and other tools to inform the public, emergency officials will also be watching such websites to respond to problems quickly.

Wireless providers and the Federal Communications Commission are bracing for potential service outages once the hurricane hits. After the earthquake on Tuesday, many networks became overloaded. Now cell-phone networks face the additional potential of physical damage from high winds, flooding, or power outages.

The FCC has dispatched teams to monitor communication systems, and wireless carriers say they are preparing as well.

Appearing on CNN on Thursday, FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate said that television and radio stations and social media may be more useful than cell phones in the immediate aftermath.

"Remember, cell phones themselves, with heavy congestion, may not be able to get through," he said.

The National Association of Broadcasters said that television viewership spiked after Tuesday's earthquake rattled the East Coast, and a similar spike is likely during the response to Hurricane Irene.

For more information on how to find hurricane information online, sign up for alerts, download apps, or visit Tech Daily Dose.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by Brocade

    Best of 2016 Federal Forum eBook

    Earlier this summer, Federal and tech industry leaders convened to talk security, machine learning, network modernization, DevOps, and much more at the 2016 Federal Forum. This eBook includes a useful summary highlighting the best content shared at the 2016 Federal Forum to help agencies modernize their network infrastructure.

    Download
  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    GBC Flash Poll Series: Merger & Acquisitions

    Download this GBC Flash Poll to learn more about federal perspectives on the impact of industry consolidation.

    Download
  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    A DevOps Roadmap for the Federal Government

    This GBC Report discusses how DevOps is steadily gaining traction among some of government's leading IT developers and agencies.

    Download
  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

    Download
  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    Joint Enterprise Licensing Agreements

    Read this eBook to learn how defense agencies can achieve savings and efficiencies with an Enterprise Software Agreement.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Cloudera

    Government Forum Content Library

    Get all the essential resources needed for effective technology strategies in the federal landscape.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.