Hurricane Preparedness Week: 3 Overlooked Comm Tips (Learn More)

By Todd Piett, CPO for Rave Mobile Safety

Although almost 5 years ago now, the infamous Superstorm Sandy’s impact is still felt on Long Island, NY.

The storm was the second costliest on record knocking down utilities, stranding thousands homeless and washing out roadways. All in all, the storm killed nationally 150, displaced 40,000 and caused $65 billion dollars in damage.

(See a compilation of PIX11 reports from Long Island during and after SuperStorm Sandy. Produced By Mary Murphy. Courtesy PIX11, DScanlonVideo and YouTube)

Suffolk EMS Coordinator Joel Vetter
Suffolk EMS Coordinator Joel Vetter

As Chief Emergency Support Services for Suffolk County, Department of Fire, Rescue and Emergency Services (NY), Joel Vetter still is reminded of the impact of Superstorm Sandy on his emergency planning, preparation, and response today.

For Hurricane Preparedness Week, we asked Chief Vetter to share his main takeaways and best practices from his planning and response to Superstorm Sandy and for every hurricane season since.

  1. Leverage Technology for Streamlined Communications

Previously, Suffolk County accepted paper applications for each individual who lived in flooding areas that could potentially be evacuated.

If they need to evacuate areas, every person would be called. This extremely manual process took hours before everyone was notified.

Instead, Suffolk County now asks residents to complete an online application.

The emergency preparedness registry asks for more robust information that emergency managers can identify in an emergency.

Emergency managers easily identify residents with medical, access or functional needs, and quickly assess potential impact allocate resources as needed.

During Superstorm Sandy, Suffolk County targeted individuals in a flood zone first for evacuation by sending a mass notification to that geo-targeted list.

(See how Rave Mobile Safety can Connect Emergency Management & Public Safety Professionals with those You Protect. Courtesy of Rave Mobile Safety and YouTube)

  1. Enable Two-Way Communications with Residents

It is not enough to send an emergency notification. Emergency Managers need to be able to respond to requests for help in the community.

During Snowstorm Nemo, Suffolk County sent an emergency notification to help them identify vulnerable people in need of assistance. Each resident had the option to call the phone number provided in the notification to request aid.

As a result of this open line of communication, Suffolk County provided a ride to an elderly couple who needed their cancer medication prescription refilled immediately.

(Learn how your organization can improve public safety response and preparedness. The Smart911 service lets users create an online safety profile that includes any information on themselves, their families or households that they would want 911 response teams to have in an emergency. Any public-safety answering point with the Smart911 software will be able to see this information when a registered user calls. Courtesy of Rave Mobile Safety and YouTube)

  1. Educate Before, During, and After

Don’t wait for a disaster or emergency to begin promoting your technology.

The more residents you have in the system, the better you are able to protect your community when disaster strikes.

Weeks like Hurricane Preparedness Week are a great opportunity to promote signing up for your emergency notification system and vulnerable needs registry.

During Superstorm Sandy, Suffolk County promoted signing up for their systems before, during and after the storm to take advantage of emergency preparedness being top of mind.

Image Credit: Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Image Credit: Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

The lessons from Hurricane Preparedness Week, planning, leveraging technology, two-way communications and community education, can be applied by Emergency Managers to any natural disaster or large-scale emergency.

By learning from public safety agencies that have experienced large scale disasters first hand, public safety agencies can leverage the best practices to further protect their communities.

About the Author:

Todd Piett, CPO for Rave Mobile Safety
Todd Piett, CPO for Rave Mobile Safety

Todd Piett, CPO for Rave Mobile Safety, works extensively with 9-1-1 Centers, emergency management, law enforcement, campus safety and corporate security to address their operational challenges through the unique application of technology.

Piett is responsible for Product Management, Corporate Development, Marketing, Software Development, QA and 24×7 Technical Operations and has helped grow Rave Mobile Safety from $0 to one of the largest safety software vendors with thousands of customers and protecting millions of end users.

Rave Mobile Safety in 2017 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards Program

The 2017 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards Program, is organized to recognize the most distinguished vendors of Physical, IT, Port Security, Law Enforcement, First Responders, (Fire, EMT, Military, Support Services Vets, SBA, Medical Tech) as well as the Federal, State, County and Municipal Government Agencies – to acknowledge their outstanding efforts to ‘Keep our Nation Secure, One City at a Time.’

As an ‘ASTORS’ competitor, the Rave Mobile Safety will be competing against the industries leading providers of innovative mass notification systems.

2017 ‘ASTORS’ Winners will be honored at the ‘American Security Expo 2017’ to be held November 8-9, 2017, in the Meadowlands Exposition Center, at the 2017 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Luncheon which will take place the afternoon of November 8, 2017.

The full two-day conference & exhibit venue in the New York City area, will include full schedule of conference meetings and speakers – plus an Unmanned Security, Robotics & Drone Exhibition Arena, Hiring Event & Education Opportunities.

ASTORS HSA 2017Good luck to the Rave Mobile Safety on becoming a Winner of the 2017 American Security Today’s Homeland Security Awards Program!

To learn more about the Rave Mobile Safety’s wide range of offerings, please visit the companies website at