March 2, 2021 (Calgary, AB) – Working in partnership with the District of Tofino, ICEsoft Technologies (CSE: ISFT), through its Voyent Alert! Mass Notification Service has developed a comprehensive tsunami monitoring and community alerting solution that expedites the process of alerting citizens during a tsunami. The solution is deployed and actively running in the District of Tofino and is available to other “at risk” communities along the west coast.
“Most communities do not have an established 24/7 warning reception point to be able to monitor for and receive National Tsunami Warning Center (NWTC) alerts,” says Keith Orchiston, Emergency Program Coordinator for the District of Tofino. “Typically, it is the Emergency Program Coordinator or a few local officials that monitor and receive these alerts. This can lead to an inconsistent response and lacks redundancy. The tsunami monitoring and community alerting integration that Voyent Alert! offers helps to ensure a rapid, effective and consistent transition from situational awareness to emergency response and community notification.”
“During a critical event, such as a Tsunami, seconds matter,” says Brian McKinney, President & CEO of ICEsoft Technologies. “In the event that a Tsunami Warning, Advisory, or Watch is issued impacting the BC Coast, or a Voyent Alert! client community, the Voyent Alert! system automatically constructs a critical alert and sends it out to an administrative group via mobile app, text, and voice call alerting. These automatic alerts, provide the early advisory needed for emergency management personnel to rapidly respond to the situation.”
The early advisory includes critical information such as the location, magnitude, and depth of the triggering event, NTWC recommended actions, colour coded map views that signal the severity in relation to geography, and possible tsunami travel time/forecasts and visuals.
From there, community alerts can be simultaneously issued via mobile admin app or a desktop interface and delivered to community members via their preferred method of delivery: mobile app, text, voice call, and email. Alerts will automatically be posted to community social media channels (Facebook and Twitter) and to a community website Public Alert Portal.
During the development process, two separate evacuation templates for the District of Tofino were created. One for “Distant” Tsunami Events identifying a 10M elevation safe zone and another for “Near” Tsunami Events, identifying a 20M elevation safe zone. All evacuation related templates include a map based visual indicating:
- Recipient’s current or followed location(s) (home, school, cell phone (if applicable))
- Location of the nearest high ground colour coded in Green
- Location of emergency shelter
Depending on the location of the individual, or an individual’s followed location(s) (i.e., home, office etc.) different alerts may be received. If the individual is identified as being located within the forecasted tsunami inundation zones, they are advised to evacuate immediately with directions to high ground. Individuals or locations identified as already being on high ground are advised to shelter in place, avoid the coastlines or low-lying areas and to await further instructions.
“The ability to provide contextual alerting, can help keep critical roadways free of traffic and provides more relevant information tailored to the individual,” says McKinney.
Additional templates have also been developed to provide situational updates and all clear notices, so that people can stay informed throughout a critical event.
Templates specific to emergency team members such as Team Recall Alerts, which requests responses from organizational personnel as to their availability, anticipated time to station and optional location monitoring (in-order to gain real time insights and reports from the ground) have also been developed.
The system has been running on internal test environments providing real time alerting for the past 3 months in Tofino.
SAMPLE ALERTS/IMAGES LOCATED HERE
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