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Hurricane Odile: An Exercise in Emergency Preparations

Last week, Tucson was faced with news of an oncoming storm caused by the approaching hurricane, Hurricane Odile. The hurricane was predicted to cause severe flooding issues within the city due to the extreme excess of rain, a rain that a desert town is not usually prepared for.  In response to this threat the city took no chances: schools were closed, sandbags were provided and the community was warned to prepare for “72 hours of distress.”

While the storm ended up completely missing Tucson, the timely preparations made and warnings sent out by businesses and schools gave a sense of security to Tucson residents.   This is why having the ability to send out bulk messages swiftly is so important; it gives peace of mind and even saves lives.

Students, teachers, and parents alike all have set schedules they stick to during the school year. Parents drop off students at school in the morning and teachers take over until the afternoon.  However, if a flood was predicted for the following morning, how would all these people be notified of school cancellations and safety warnings? Local news stations can only do so much, especially when some people do not spare the time to watch.  Automated messaging can be used for more than sending reminders to patients of their appointments, and this is one example.

Christine Tosi, President here at Inphonite, personally experienced the value of automated messaging during Hurricane Odile first hand.

“During the recent rains, I received several automated messages from my children’s school district, including emails and phone calls from the school as well as from the Transportation Department. It was crucial because there were times when parents were told they needed to pick up their children after the floods receded, as the roads were closed and the buses would not be running their routes. We, as parents, were able to take alternate routes or ask other people that live closer to the school to attend to our children. Even when the power in the school was out we received our messages.”

So even if Tucson narrowly avoided the impacts of Hurricane Odile, it was a great exercise in safety and taking necessary precautions to save lives.