As we navigate the growing surge of COVID cases this winter, public safety agencies will have to again ramp up communications with citizens about the virus. With 2020 Multi-'ASTORS' Award Winner Rave Mobile Safety, your agency can leverage integrated critical communication, data and response capabilities for safer communities.
As we navigate the growing surge of COVID cases this winter, public safety agencies will have to again ramp up communications with citizens about the virus. With 2020 Multi-'ASTORS' Award Winner Rave Mobile Safety, your agency can leverage integrated critical communication, data and response capabilities for safer communities.

By Todd Miller, COO of Rave Mobile Safety

As COVID-19 once again begins to surge across the United States, those in emergency management, public health and public safety need to take a critical look at what’s been working during the pandemic, and what has to change to ensure the safety of citizens.

Rave Mobile Safety was recognized with Multiple Platinum Award Wins in the 2020 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards Programs.

Throughout the pandemic, we’ve learned that there are some things that are non-negotiable when it comes to emergency communications – and those best practices must carry over into all emergency communications, not just those related to the pandemic.

Here are some best practices that community leaders and public safety officials should consider as they continue to rely on communications tools to help them reach and inform the public, during the pandemic and beyond.

Share resources – and data – across organizations

To be effective in response to and in communication with residents, agencies should be forging relationships with other organizations – either in their geographic area or industry – to share successes and collaborate to solve the most pressing challenges.

The reality is, if one organization is experiencing an issue, it’s very possible many others are as well.

When organizations can work together and share resources – PPE, best practices, or insight into how to effectively communicate with the public, for example – problems can be solved quicker, helping the community at large.

Louisiana and Suffolk County, NY, among regions leveraging tool to communicate COVID-related advisories and prepare for distribution of vaccine to residents
When first responders have access to data – such as whether a caller has COVID-19 or is in quarantine – they can prepare appropriately and come with enough supplies to keep themselves and the caller safe.

However, it shouldn’t just be resources that are shared, but data as well.

Most data held by local health departments, 911 and emergency management are siloed and do not flow freely between organizations.

However, when first responders have access to data – such as whether a caller has COVID-19 or is in quarantine – they can prepare appropriately and come with enough supplies to keep themselves and the caller safe.

This allows different stakeholders to get access to the same information, creating better responses and preparation measures across communities.

For example, if 911 could share a person’s voluntary COVID status with not only first responders, but the local health department, that organization could proactively check in on the caller, reminding them of safety guidelines, and ensuring they had the necessary resources to recover, while also keeping others safe.

Having a consistent and shared view of a jurisdiction across stakeholders is key.

(Learn what to look for in a critical communications platform and how it can help overcome public health challenges and enhance recovery efforts in your community. Courtesy of Rave Mobile Safety and YouTube.)Provide easy ways to communicate and information share with the public

As we navigate the growing surge of COVID cases this winter, public safety agencies will have to again ramp up communications with citizens about the virus.

One of the best ways to do this is to ensure people have easy access to opt into alerts by taking a multi-modal approach to community outreach – encouraging them to sign up through social media posts, tapping into local media and in other local announcements through schools, houses of worship, and other trusted community partners.

As we navigate the growing surge of COVID cases this fall and winter, public safety agencies will have to again ramp up communications with citizens about the virus. With Rave your agency can leverage integrated critical communication, data and response capabilities for safer communities.
With Rave Prepare, residents submit medical information and access or functional needs through an online portal for emergency planning, response and recovery. During a disaster or catastrophic event such as the Coronavirus pandemic, emergency managers can easily identify residents in need of assistance, communicate with them, and assign the appropriate resources to send help.

Once people have signed up to receive communications, it’s important to send consistent and informative messages.

For example, local governments or agencies should plan to keep the public informed about the number of cases within their communities on an ongoing basis given the rapidly evolving nature of the virus, as well as current risk levels for transmission.

Reminding the public of protocols and safety guidelines – especially as many states continue reopening plans – can also go a long way in reducing risk and spread in a community.

While informing the community, it’s also important to consider the modes of communications used.

For example, regular informational updates might be best delivered through email or social media while the most critical of updates might be distributed via text and voice calls.

As with any emergency, fear can often get the best of us so it’s not only important to send residents this information proactively, but also to direct them to reliable sources of information.

To do this, community officials can employ mass notification tools to direct residents to reliable health authorities, such as the CDC, and ensure they have the most accurate and up-to-date information about coronavirus.

For example, the CDC website features general tips for staying healthy and decreasing the risk of catching colds, the flu and other viruses.

Communities should also consider creating a number to which people can direct any questions about the virus, so they can have access to reliable information with ease.

(Residents and visitors pass through cities and towns daily, making it sometimes difficult to keep everyone informed and up-to-date when an emergency strikes. Learn how your role in community safety can be positively impacted by stronger communication. Courtesy of Rave Mobile Safety and YouTube.)

Segment populations

While consistent updates and ease of communication is important, public safety officials also need to do what they can to prevent alert fatigue – especially today, with so much going on.

To illustrate, if communities are offering special shopping hours for senior citizens at local stores, only seniors should be receiving those alerts – not the public at large.

Segmentation allows agencies to split their recipients into groups of individuals depending on their role, location or other attributes.

By segmenting a population into groups, organizations can reduce the number of messages sent and ensure that the message is relevant to those receiving it.

If messages are relevant to residents, it increases the likelihood that the message will be opened, and the information read.

With cold and flu season coming, and with rising COVID-19 cases across the country, being able to identify target populations becomes even more critical.

For instance, being able to identify and message at-risk communities (elderly, respiratory illness, history of diabetes, etc.) can play a substantial role in preventing outbreaks in the community.

Using these attributes allows officials to speak directly to these at-risk communities which can help stop the spread of coronavirus and save lives.

Communities can learn from their mistakes when it comes to COVID-19 – and they can prepare for what the winter might bring.

By working together to share data and resources and keeping the public informed on protocols and guidelines about the virus, community organizations and agencies can ensure residents that they are doing everything in their power to keep them safe.

About the Author

Todd Miller, Rave Chief Operating Officer
Todd Miller, Rave Chief Operating Officer

Todd Miller is the Chief Operations Officer at Rave Mobile Safety.

Prior to joining Rave, Todd managed the self-service consulting Practice at Oracle where he was responsible for the delivery of customized software solutions for clients in North America, supporting millions of users.

At Oracle he was awarded recognition as a member of Oracle’s top 10% in Consulting. Todd’s previous experience includes leading consulting teams for Siebel and eDOCS in North America, Europe, and Australia.

Rave Mobile Safety Scores Big in the 2020 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards

American Security Today’s ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards program is in its Fifth Year and continues to recognize the Outstanding Innovations of top firms and agencies in the Homeland Security and Public Safety fields.

2020 has been a very challenging year for everyone due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the much heralded AST ‘ASTORS’ Awards Winners Presentations and exclusive Luncheon at the Jacob Javits Center in NYC has been canceled and rescheduled for 2021 due to the virus.

Mike Madsen, Publisher, American Security Today
Mike Madsen, Publisher, American Security Today

However, the 2020 ‘ASTORS’  Homeland Security Awards Program was again a huge success and many new categories were added including a section for COVID-19 Detection and Innovation.

Rave Mobile Safety (First of Four)

Best Handheld Mobile Device Solution

  • Rave Guardian

  • The COVID-19 pandemic has made businesses, healthcare organizations and universities alike reconsider what employee and student safety really means.

Extend your safety umbrella to people worldwide using mobile phone technology. Rave Guardian offers 24/7 two-way connectivity between security resources and people exposed to risk wherever they are.
Extend your safety umbrella to people worldwide using mobile phone technology. Rave Guardian offers 24/7 two-way connectivity between security resources and people exposed to risk wherever they are.
  • However, even in uncertain times, clear communication and quick response can prove effective in any emergency. Businesses, schools and other institutions need easy-to-manage tools to facilitate that, now more than ever.

  • Rave Guardian, a leading custom-branded personal safety app, helps organizations quickly connect and protect employees, students or staff wherever they are located.

  • Rave Guardian allows organizations to communicate directly with different populations by providing two-way communications, safety assistance and resources during an emergency. With the Rave Guardian mobile app, employees, students and others can take a proactive approach to their safety through confidential tip texting, a virtual escort, an emergency call button and other resources that keep them informed.

  • 'ASTORS' Award Winner for Three Consecutive Years, Rave Mobile Safety helps Higher Education Connect, Engage and Safeguard your Community so they’ll be Prepared and become Empowered about their Safety.
    Rave Mobile Safety helps Higher Education Connect, Engage and Safeguard your Community so they’ll be Prepared and become Empowered about their Safety.

    The customizable app helps drive engagement, while also providing better protection and information to employees, in both emergency and non-emergency situations, and while traditional communication channels work well during business hours, businesses especially need communication tools that can reach employees at any time.

  • Tools like Rave Guardian are critical amid the reopening process to ensure the safety of employees—who need updates on everything from specific guidance on who can be in the office when to urgent alerts about changes to operations if an employee tests positive for the coronavirus.

  • Without solutions like Rave Guardian, organizations will not be able to effectively reopen and stay open.

Rave Mobile Safety (Second of Four)

Best Mass Notification System (Software)

  • Rave Alert

  • The COVID-19 pandemic proved that the spread of misinformation happens quickly, and that businesses, universities and public agencies alike need to get the right information out to the right people quickly and reliably to get ahead of the spread of bad information.

  • In order to do this, these organizations need a reliable way to communicate effectively with their communities in both emergency and nonemergency situations, often through multiple channels, to ensure that the right message is fully disseminated.

  • Rave Alert, a leading emergency notification solution, is proven to help organizations deliver unlimited messages to unlimited recipients.

  • Rave Alert’s easy-to-use interface speeds up delivery, allowing organizations to reach all recipients quickly through text, email, voice calls, desktop alerts, public address systems, digital signage and more. Organizations trust Rave Alert, knowing it will get the right message to the right user from any internet-connected device in a matter of seconds.

(Hear from higher education CIOs how they have overcame their top challenges and increased efficiencies to support their higher education institutions’ goals. Courtesy of Rave Mobile Safety and YouTube.)

  • Rave Alert has been used throughout the pandemic by numerous states and cities, like Louisiana, Suffolk County, NY and the city of Seattle, and universities like Notre Dame to deliver reliable updates to citizens and students, providing guidance, critical updates and facts during this uncertain time not only to quell fears but to direct their attention to accurate information.

  • State and local governments, businesses, healthcare facilities and higher education institutions across all 50 states trust Rave Alert.

Rave Mobile Safety (Third of Four)

Best Mobile Technology Product

  • Rave Panic Button

  • Used in 47 states across the country, Rave Panic Button is the most widely-used and trusted school safety app.

  • By deploying Rave Panic Button in schools statewide, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Michigan, Delaware and Washington D.C. are providing equal protection to all their students, teachers and staff, regardless of their district or zip code.

In seconds, the Rave Panic Button app clearly communicates an emergency to 9-1-1, on-site personnel, and first responders. Rave Panic Button shortens response times and improves safety for all those in the immediate area.
  • Rave Panic Button has been credited with expediting emergency response efforts that ultimately saved a student’s life in Oklahoma when she had difficulty breathing at school, and getting immediate medical attention to an athlete who suddenly collapsed on a sports field in Arkansas by alerting a school nurse who was able to give CPR.

  • In seconds, Rave Panic Button clearly communicates an emergency to 9-1-1, on-site personnel and first responders simultaneously, improving communication and decreasing response times. And, as schools across the country weigh reopening plans amid the coronavirus outbreak, Rave Panic Button serves as a critical tool to communicate with teachers and staff, and to check in on their health status.

Rave Panic Button shortens response times and improves safety for all those in the immediate area.
  • In the event of an on-site crisis—from a shooting threat to a medical incident–any authorized user can activate the Rave Panic Button mobile app by pushing one of the five emergency button types.

  • Rather than having a single option to press, users can notify 9-1-1 of a fire, medical emergency, active assailant or other emergencies that require an immediate response. When one of the buttons is pushed, 9-1-1 call takers and first responders can view detailed caller location, floor plans, entrance and exit locations, emergency contacts and key procedures to help coordinate a more effective response.

Rave Mobile Safety (Fourth of Four)

Best Risk, Crisis Management Product

  • Rave Prepare

  • The coronavirus pandemic has impacted vulnerable populations on a massive scale.

  • The elderly, those with respiratory illnesses and others with underlying conditions that put them at greater risk were the hardest hit when the virus surged this spring.

With Rave Prepare, residents submit medical information and access or functional needs through an online portal for emergency planning, response and recovery. During a disaster or catastrophic event such as the Coronavirus pandemic, emergency managers can easily identify residents in need of assistance, communicate with them, and assign the appropriate resources to send help.
  • Yet often, public safety agencies don’t know the location of these vulnerable populations in their communities, making it difficult to proactively identify and communicate with those at risk and respond to their needs appropriately.

  • Rave Prepare, Rave’s web-based vulnerable needs registry, helps emergency managers, public safety and health leaders understand the individuals most at-risk within a community to enable faster coordination and more efficient communication during a critical event.

  • Rave Prepare enables public safety and health agencies to plan ahead and proactively respond to disasters and other emergencies, including power outages, transportation interruptions, evacuations, community health crises, pandemics and shelter resource planning.

  • As the coronavirus pandemic surged across the country, Rave Prepare was quickly updated to ensure public safety and health agencies had the insight into their communities needed for managing their response to the virus, which includes identifying individuals who are self-quarantined or have pre-existing conditions or are over the age of 65, identifying trends and potential hotspots, and mobilizing resources where needed most.

  • *Rave Mobile Safety was also recognized with Multiple Platinum Award Wins in the 2019, 2018 and 2017 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards Programs.

  • For a complete list of 2020 ‘ASTORS’ Award Winners, click here.

Rave Mobile Safety is a leading provider of critical communication and collaboration technology used to save lives, manage crisis incidents and increase resiliency.

Rave Mobile SafetyFrom major disasters and crisis events to everyday emergencies and operational incidents, the Rave platform enables critical data sharing, mass notification and emergency response coordination.

Over 8,000 first responder, emergency management, 9-1-1, and federal, state and local agencies—as well as corporations, healthcare organizations, universities and schools—all rely on Rave to prepare better, respond faster, recover quicker and mitigate anticipated critical incidents.

To Learn More, please visit https://www.ravemobilesafety.com, read the company blog, and follow them on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.

The 2020 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Program is sponsored by ATI SystemsAttivo NetworksAutomatic SystemsDesktop Alert, X.Labs and Reed Expositionsevery one a returning Sponsor from 2019.

Why American Security Today?

The traditional security marketplace has long been covered by a host of publications putting forward the old school basics to what is Today – a fast changing security landscape.

The traditional security marketplace has long been covered by a host of publications putting forward the old school basics to what is Today – a fast changing security landscape.

American Security Today is uniquely focused on the broader Homeland Security & Public Safety marketplace with over 75,000 readers at the Federal, State and local levels of government as well as firms allied to government.

American Security Today brings forward a fresh compelling look and read with our customized digital publications that hold readers eyes throughout the story with cutting edge editorial that provides solutions to their challenges.

Harness the Power of the Web – with our 100% Mobile Friendly Publications

AST puts forward the Largest and Most Qualified Circulation in Government with Over 75,000 readers on the Federal, State and Local levels.
AST puts forward the Largest and Most Qualified Circulation in Government with Over 75,000 readers on the Federal, State and Local levels.

The AST Digital Publications is distributed to over 75,000 qualified government and homeland security professionals in federal, state and local levels.

‘PROTECTING OUR NATION, ONE CITY AT A TIME’

AST Reaches both Private & Public Experts, essential to meeting these new challenges.

Today’s new generation of public safety and security experts need real-time knowledge to deal with domestic and international terrorism, lone wolf attacks, unprecedented urban violence, shifts in society, culture and media bias – making it increasingly difficult for Homeland Security, Law Enforcement, First Responders, Military and Private Security Professionals to implement coordinated security measures to ensure national security and improve public safety.

American Security Today

These experts are from Government at the federal, state and local level as well as from private firms allied to government.

AST provides a full plate of topics in our AST Monthly Magazine Editions, AST Website and AST Daily News Alerts, covering 23 Vital Sectors such as Access Control, Perimeter Protection, Video Surveillance/Analytics, Airport Security, Border Security, CBRNE Detection, Border Security, Ports, Cybersecurity, Networking Security, Encryption, Law Enforcement, First Responders, Campus Security, Security Services, Corporate Facilities, and Emergency Response among others.

AST has Expanded readership into integral Critical Infrastructure audiences such as Protection of Nuclear Facilities, Water Plants & Dams, Bridges & Tunnels, and other potential targets of terrorism.

Other areas of concern include Transportation Hubs, Public Assemblies, Government Facilities, Sporting & Concert Stadiums, our Nation’s Schools & Universities, and Commercial Business Destinations – all enticing targets due to the large number of persons and resources clustered together.

To learn more about the 2020 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Award Winners solutions, please be on the lookout for the 2020 ‘ASTORS’ CHAMPIONS Edition Fully Interactive Magazine – the Best Products of 2020 ‘A Year in Review’.

The Annual CHAMPIONS edition includes a review of the ‘ASTORS’ Award Winning products and programs, highlighting key details on many of the winning firms products and services, includes video interviews and more.

It will be your Go-To source throughout the year for ‘The Best of 2020 Products and Services‘ endorsed by American Security Today, and can satisfy your agency’s and organization’s most pressing Homeland Security and Public Safety needs.

From Physical Security (Access Control, Critical Infrastructure, Perimeter Protection and Video Surveillance Cameras and Video Management Systems), to IT Security (Cybersecurity, Encryption, Data Storage, Anti-Malware and Networking Security – Just to name a few), the 2020 ‘ASTORS’ CHAMPIONS EDITION will have what you need to Detect, Delay, Respond to, and Mitgate today’s real-time threats in our constantly evolving security landscape.

It also includes featured guest editorial pieces from some of the security industry’s most respected leaders, and recognized firms in the 2020 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Program.

  • For a complete list of 2020 ‘ASTORS’ Award Winners, click here.

For more information about the Annual ‘ASTORS’ Awards or All Things American Security Today, please contact Michael Madsen, AST Publisher at mmadsen@americansecuritytoday.com.

AST strives to meet a 3 STAR trustworthiness rating, based on the following criteria:

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‘ASTORS’ Winner Rave Announces New Vaccine Distribution Solution