How Prepared Can Help Your Agency During Natural Disasters
Note: this article appeared in our bi-weekly LinkedIn Newsletter, Evolving Emergencies. Click here to subscribe and follow us on LinkedIn.
Before we kickoff this week's Evolving Emergencies, I want to welcome our new subscribers that joined after last week's big news. Now, to this week's topic...
Natural disasters can happen at almost any time and occur almost anywhere. It's important for agencies to be as prepared as possible when they do, including equipping themselves with the right technology.
With our platform in your toolbox, you gain the ability to meet the caller where they are, see what they're seeing, and communicate with them in multiple ways, instead of just verbally. You remove the blindfold of the verbal-only call and gain situational clarity.
Here are three ways Prepared partner agencies have used (or plan to use) our platform during natural disasters...
In Larimer County, Colorado, public safety officials have had to deal with some of the worst wildland fires in the country over the last five years. The Cameron Peak Fire began on August 13th, 2020 and was not officially “controlled” until January of 2021, claiming almost 500 homes in the process.
In 2022, the Larimer Emergency Telephone Authority (LETA) partnered with Prepared to bring live caller video to their dispatchers and field responders. Now, rather than relying only on the caller, who may have little knowledge of the mountains that surround them or the chance that the fire is in danger of spreading, LETA can now rely on Prepared Live to give their wildfire experts a look at exactly what the caller is reporting.
“Having [Prepared Live] available [to enable] qualified people to actually assess what is going on in conjunction with what they’re told is huge because it can really change the level of response,” says David Moore, Executive Director at the Larimer County Sheriff's Office, one of LETA's six agencies.
Read more, including a real-life case, here
Over the last 25 years, Louisiana has, unfortunately, taken some heavy hits from hurricanes. When veteran public safety professional Mark Boudreaux, Executive Director at Terrebonne Parish Communications District, brought Prepared Live to his agency, he saw an opportunity to potentially shift their approach to hurricane response. Discussing Hurricane Ida in 2021, Mark says:
"If we had Prepared Live, we could have sent a request to the caller to see the damage on-scene and an additional request to know the exact GPS location of the collapse. In this case, and future cases, this extraordinary tool can save valuable time spent during the search and rescue phase of recovery."
Read Mark's full thoughts in his guest blog here
Volcano eruption response
At 11:30PM local time on Sunday, November 27th, the long-dormant Mauna Loa Volcano erupted on the "Big Island" of Hawai'i. Per the US National Park Service, the volcano makes up 51% of the island. When the Hawai'i Fire Department (which serves the island/county of Hawai'i), alongside other government and environmental agencies on the island, began to assess the lava flow from Mauna Loa, they did so with a new tool at their disposal: Prepared Live.
Using a helicopter, Hawai'i FD personnel flew over and around the volcano to investigate and gain an understanding of how the lava was flowing. Rather than simply recording video to send back to the center later on, they employed Prepared Live to livestream the scene directly to their dispatch center.
Watch the video they sent from the helicopter and read more about the response here
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