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After One of the Worst Winters Ever, the Spring Melt Prompts Better Emergency Communications Planning for Potential Flooding

Like most Canadians, you probably think this long and bitter cold winter has been the most extreme weather you’ve seen in years. And you’d be right. It’s no exaggeration because it literally has been the worst winter in decades. Record-breaking temperature drops, blizzards and ice storms have immobilized urban centres all season. Winnipeg recorded its second coldest winter on record …

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Drop the Bullhorn, Pick Up the Phone – A Better Way to Organize Volunteer Relief in a Crisis

On June 24, 2013, Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi, megaphone in hand, greeted a throng of up to 6000 eager volunteers assembled at McMahon Stadium. All were there to assist, wherever and however they could, in a city and a province reeling from the worst natural disaster ever in its recorded history. Floodwaters had submerged Calgary’s core, including its municipal offices, …

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RallyEngine Wins Two Awards at Launch Party 2013

On the evening of November 22nd hundreds of people gathered at Mac Hall to celebrate Calgary’s burgeoning startup scene. What a night! There were keynotes by Foundry Group VC Brad Feld (via Skype) and former NASA CTO Chris Kemp, as well as a panel discussion on fundraising. There were also two lightning rounds of 3-minute pitches from 10 select startups. RallyEngine was …

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Internal Communications and the Impacts on Disaster Management

Disasters present the ultimate challenge to emergency response capability. Time is of the essence, the usual communication pathways are generally disrupted, and the speedy mobilization of emergency equipment and responders may mean the difference between life and death. Even when the stakes are a lot less dramatic, an organization’s lack of effective crisis communication can have long-term negative impacts particularly …

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Did Corporate Calgary Learn Its Lesson from the Flood? Maybe Not

Ipsos Reid study identifies critical gaps in corporate emergency response plans Calgary, AB – Calgary organizations are at-risk with their emergency response plans (ERP) and are not fully prepared for natural disasters or emergencies, according to a new Ipsos Reid study. The research study included telephone interviews with almost one-third of Calgary-based organizations that have more than 100 employees and were directly impacted …

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Nenshi vs Ford: A tale of two cities’ disaster response

Comparisons between Calgary’s Naheed Nenshi and Toronto’s Rob Ford started years ago when each was elected mayor. Now, with 2013’s record breaking floods in their respective cities, they again are under public scrutiny for their handling of the disaster responses. Toronto’s July 8th flash flood swamped commuters and knocked out power for almost 500,000 people, while Alberta’s June river flood …

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A lesson in herding cats during a storm

A few adages come to mind. Expect the unexpected. Practice what you preach. Drink your own kool-aid. We failed at all three. Our company, RallyEngine, founded last fall, has quietly been developing a powerful and streamlined app-based internal communications tool. It can instantly locate team members and provide critical information to widespread or hard-to-reach people and teams in real-time via …

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How do you tell 100,000 employees to stay home?

There have been numerous natural and manmade disasters over the last year. Each one pulls into focus the need for organizations to quickly and efficiently locate their people to ensure that they are okay, and to alert them of danger, road or office closures, and even evacuations. The RallyEngine team is experiencing this firsthand today. Most members of our team …