The City of Park Ridge has recently invested in a new software application that enhances its ability to provide emergency alerts to its residents. The application, going by the name Everbridge Aware for Citizen Alerts, is a notification sytem that will call people on their phone and inform that about emregencies as well as other helpful non-emergency updates. The data in the system is supplied to the city by willful residents who fill out their information via the city’s website. Residents will give at least one phone number but have the option to supply a cell phone number, a business phone number or even an e-mail address. When an emergency or important event comes up, the system will send a message to the first number that a resident provided and wait for a confirmation of receipt from that resident. If the system does not receive a confirmation from the resident it will try the next method of choice that was outlined by the resident during the application process whether it be another phone number, text message or e-mail.
The next process that the city is investigating is to incorporate local Geographical Infromation Systems (GIS) data into the Everbridge application for more specific uses. Since the Everbridge application already includes a GIS mapping function, it only seems logical to test the water by updating it with data that was created by the city’s GIS Department. The first data layer that is set to be tested is a fire hydrant flushing zone layer. This data layer will supply the Fire Department with the ability to select all residences located within any fire hydrant zone and notify them that there will be hydrant flushing going on in their area soon. If successful, it will serve as a benchmark for the future of using GIS layers within the citizen alert system, thus demonstrating the versatility of GIS data.
One can easily imagine how powerful a system like this could be in getting important information to the public. And with the ability to intergrate local and accurate GIS data, the system can only act as a better service for the residents of Park Ridge.