March 12, 2021 by Shawn Yujuico

3 Lessons on Emergency Management Readiness Learned from the Maury County 9-1-1 Outage

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Industries: 9-1-1 & Law Enforcement

Topics: Disaster Recovery Services Disaster Response Infrastructure Services PSAPs Public Safety Applications

mass notificationA critical event shines a light on the strength and weaknesses of an organization. And one thing is certain, when these events happen, you can’t afford to slow-walk your response. Risk readiness empowers emergency management teams with the agility to expertly execute decisions during critical events. For the Maury County Office of Emergency Management (OEM), a partnership between Maury County, Tennessee and the Cities of Mount Pleasant and Spring Hill, that preparation paid off on December 25, 2020 at 1:22am when a car bomb exploded in downtown Nashville and the Maury County OEM located miles away was knocked out, resulting in days-long service outages.  

Mass Notification Ensures Continuity of 9-1-1 Calls 

The explosion in Nashville caused the AT&T building that hosted the 9-1-1 system for multiple counties to lose power. Maury County was among those 9-1-1 systems that went down, leaving the director, Jeff Hardy, in need of a way to continue to provide essential services in a timely manner. 

Risk-readiness paid off with officials quickly setting up alternative emergency phone numbers to receive calls from people seeking 9-1-1 services. As the alternate numbers were brought online, the team then needed to share those numbers with the public. The team turned to Motorola Solutions’ mass notification platform to enable OEM officials to quickly send notifications to the public and stakeholders. The platform rapidly sent tens of thousands of notifications communicating the alternate emergency numbers simultaneously through text, email, voice lines and fax. 

Lessons on Risk Reduction and Readiness

For Maury County, fast thinking, advance planning, and an innovative mass notification platform helped them to stay on the top of a critical infrastructure event and ensured that citizens’ needs were met.  

Preparedness strategies:

  1. In advance of the bombing, Maury County had Motorola Solutions’ mass notification capabilities in place and ready for situations like this. The bombing created more urgency around making sure that citizens were not only signed up for notifications, but also subscribed for multiple communication methods like text, email and voice calls for even greater assurance that they won’t miss instructions and notifications during critical events. 
  2. When a crisis strikes the emergency manager’s job is to get the word out. One way to get ahead of an event is to take scenario planning exercises and use those to create notification templates. With a library of templates in place, notifications can be deployed in seconds. 
  3. During critical infrastructure events, emergency managers not only need to communicate with and inform the public, but they also need to mobilize resources quickly and efficiently. Motorola Solutions’ mass notification platform provides list-based notifications enabling database segmentation into groups that help facilitate the right response with the right staff quickly.

Learn more about Motorola Solutions’ mass notification. 

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