SOURCE: MessageOne

August 16, 2005 09:29 ET

National Weather Service Forecast Office in Fort Worth Deploys Notification System for Emergency Management Agencies

MessageOne's AlertFind Selected for Critical Communications to First Responders

FT WORTH/DALLAS, TX -- (MARKET WIRE) -- August 16, 2005 -- The National Weather Service's (NWS) Fort Worth/Dallas forecast office is ready for action with a new emergency notification system that allows the office to quickly and easily notify first responders prior to the issuance of public weather products. Austin-based MessageOne, Inc. announced its AlertFind system is now in operation at the NWS office. The NWS forecast office provides forecasts and warnings for 46 counties with an estimated seven million residents in this weather hotbed. The NWS is the official voice of the United States for issuing warnings during life threatening weather situations.

"We are proud to be collaborating with the NWS to better serve communities and residents in times of crisis," said MessageOne CEO Satin Mirchandani. "The forward-thinking NWS team has put in place a solid communications program that maximizes the effectiveness of all the key emergency teams. We hope it will serve as a working model for other organizations around the country where delivery of communications and every second is truly vital."

Evaluation of Notification Systems

The Fort Worth/Dallas forecast office began its search for an emergency notification system late last year when the staff realized its emergency management partners had a wide variety of methods for receiving notifications from the NWS. The emergency managers benefit from an early "heads-up" prior to the official public warning. The mission-critical information provides them time to deploy their storm spotter groups, activate their emergency operations centers, and prepare to handle incoming calls from the public.

Gary Woodall, Warning Coordination Meteorologist for the forecast office, began the effort to revamp the office's pre-notification system. "We needed a solution that would be easy to learn and use, and one that would not require extensive resources to manage," explained Woodall. "Likewise, our emergency management and storm spotter partners wanted a system that would be compatible with their existing technology, be it alphanumeric pagers, conventional e-mail, PDAs, or voice telephone lines."

After reviewing several options, Woodall learned about MessageOne and its AlertFind emergency notification system. "We have been pleased with the flexibility and reliability of the AlertFind solution. Our emergency management and storm spotter partners were also appreciative of the variety of methods we have to reach them with activation requests and other vital information."

Pre-Alert System Adopted for Regular Use

After several months of an evaluation phase with key emergency team members in the system, the NWS office has moved into regular usage with first responders in North Texas who have the equipment to receive the text messages. Several members of the NWS staff issue the notification messages when necessary and they can do so from any computer or phone in the operations area. Within minutes, a pre-notification message can be sent to all or any subset of the network simultaneously. The NWS office and their emergency management partners are doing everything they can to prepare in advance for the late summer/early fall weather season that in this part of the country is well known for tornados, floods, and severe weather systems.

About MessageOne

MessageOne (www.messageone.com), headquartered in Austin, Texas, is the fastest growing business continuity company. MessageOne's suite of products includes the Emergency Mail System ™ (EMS), a highly scalable, extremely affordable standby email solution built on Linux; AlertFind™, the leading enterprise emergency notification and escalation platform; and OneSwitch, the only solution to provide automated one button failover service for Windows applications. Founded by Adam Dell, MessageOne customers include Motorola, T. Rowe Price, CIT, Young Broadcasting and MaxRe.

Contact Information

  • For media information, contact:
    Lisa Hendrickson
    Email Contact
    516-643-1642