Texas Emergency Management ONLINE 2013 Vol. 60 No. 4

Texas Emergency Management Briefs, Tips and Links

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Everyone has their own notification system when it comes time sending a message out or playing hazard control.  Sometimes things do not go as planned, but there are some tips that might help in any situation.

  • Record a message first before sending out any other form of notification.  This may seem backwards, but you want to make sure and verify your message first.  Listen to it, confirm it is OK and verify, verify, verify!  You don’t want to accidently send an unverified message out in those early moments.
  • Assume you are “always on.”  Any good PIO will tell you assume that every electronic device records and is always on.  Remember this also includes phones. This is a great tip to mitigate any accidental conversations that might not be meant for public distribution. 
  • Delete an incorrect recording from the source.  If your system allows you to save recordings or messages for future use, make sure you delete any incorrect statements. That way there are no accidental launches of the wrong message.
  • Test your notification before sending to the masses.  This way you can correct any technical issues that might appear before it reaches the public
  • Send alerts to priority recipients first.  If your system allows, it is best to inform those priority people that might be able to identify any problems quickly before the message goes out to the public. 
  • Be proactive and apologize for any mistakes. Mistakes happen and the last thing you want is to be perceived as hiding the truth.  Be honest and open as well as a solution to avoid this mistake in the future. 


ERG 2012 App Icon

The U.S. Department of Transportation's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) unveiled a free, mobile-app version of its Emergency Response Guidebook 2012 (ERG), a reference manual to help first responders deal with hazmat situations during the critical first 30 minutes after an accident.

Even with the use of printed manuals, sometimes not every responder has access to the important ERG.  As technology improves and human culture adapting, we see more and more responders carrying smart phones.  This allows the responder in those first critical moments to have all the necessary tools readily available.  The app works off of a word search functions, and also lets users access the full ERG, which includes new evacuation tables for large toxic gas spills and standard response procedures for gas- and liquid-pipeline incidents. With the app, users can access data on almost any hazard, such as health risks to victims, equipment required for response and first-aid techniques used on those suffering from exposure.  The app is available for both Apple and Android devices. 

Android App Download
iOS App Download

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