Thursday, September 30, 2010

Emergency Communication - Dunwoody Water Main Break and Schools

Today in between meetings, I scrolled through Twitter on my blackberry and read from a Dunwoody High School student what was happening at the school.  I called my wife Kristin and I was the first to tell her of the situation of the water main break and that students from Dunwoody High School and Dunwoody Elementary were being bussed off site.

This brought up the question for me.  How did the schools do at Emergency notification?  How did the City do?  What could have been improved?  What is the take away and lessons learned from the event?

Rick Callihan discussed it on his blog and even with his tongue in cheek prose he sounded positive about the communication, what was your takeaway from the event?  I would love to hear the good the bad and the ugly.


Pattie Baker said...

John: I thought the communication was terrific, and I felt perfectly comfortable that my child was in good hands the entire time. She arrived home in her regular way at her regular time.

Dunwoody Mom said...
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Dunwoody Mom said...

Communication was very good. The administration and attendance office personnel at DHS handled handling the 1500 students at one time in a professional and calm manner. I opted to check my children out from DHS. From what I understand from my oldest, Village Burger was the "go-to" place for her class for lunch.

Dunwoody Mom said...

Oh, btw, love the Press Release from the City....:)

Anonymous said...

John, the timestamp on the city's Emergency Alert email was one hour later than the email from Dunwoody HS, so it slightly begs the question of how fast the city is about to get out an Emergency Alert. (This is not a complaint, but you were asking about how well it worked.) It would have been nicer for it to go out sooner.

The better question is, "Can we have an Emergency Alert subscription program that also uses cell phone text messaging?"

Email is better than a calling tree, but email is static and relies on one to check their email account before they receive the alert.

A cell phone text messaging system would be so much faster and more effective. It shouldn't replace email, just supplement it. Colleges with student populations as large as the population of Dunwoody have the text message systems in place, so the technology for a large-scale system is available.

Rick said...

I think the kids were gone from their home school (at at Cham Middle or PTree Middle) before the school announcement -probably on purpose. If you announce the evacuation prior to doing it the schools would be over-run with parents trying to get their kids immediately. The way it was handled for Dun Elem was OK. They transported the kids then let us know where they were. However, in a real SHTF emergency I'd prefer to have my kids closer to me than Cham Middle. I'd give DeKalb an 'A' on the whole thing. Thy got buses to transport, they fed the kids, and everyone got home OK.