New app for students, faculty and staff promotes safety at Olds College

Award-winning Alberta-based technology powers the OC Emergency mobile alerting app for smart, safe campuses Calgary, AB: Students, faculty, and staff returning to Olds College’s campuses this fall have a new tool to stay informed and stay safe. The Olds and Calgary, AB based college has launched OC Emergency, a mobile smartphone app which provides users with quick, mobile access to …


Mobile and the Space Between Public and Private Alerts

Last week RallyEngine was pleased to attend the first annual National Public Alerting Summit in Edmonton. Organized by CATAAlliance, nearly 100 Canadian and International thought leaders converged to discuss the latest developments in emergency alerting. Collaboration and the sharing of best practices are of course vital to achieving success in such a critical and often complex field.


Are Natural Disasters Actually Becoming More Common, or Does It Just Feel That Way?

Recently, it seems like every time one turns on CNN or checks their social media sites, they are bombarded by the news of a natural disaster somewhere in the world. Massive earthquakes, 20 foot high tsunamis, raging wildfires, devastating hurricanes, severe droughts, and exploding volcanoes.  What’s going on? Are there really more disasters happening now then there were a generation ago? Depending on how …


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 …


An inside look at an incident command center

Natural and man-made incidents can happen at anytime and anyplace. Getting the word out on how to prepare for an incident is not always possible, especially in the wake of unpredictable situations such as terrorist attacks or earthquakes. In these situations, instructions normally come after the incident, which include evacuation details, emergency service details, and news updates. An Incident Command …


The pros and cons of Twitter as a disaster alert tool

The difference between an emergency and a catastrophic disaster is communication. Getting the right responders on the scene and mobilizing relief effort requires immediate and simultaneous communication to a wide range of people. Now, for the first time in history, a communications channel has opened up that combines the most effective elements of emergency dispatch, broadcast TV, ham radio, and …


Crisis communications: thinking, fast and slow

Daniel Kahneman, psychologist and author of the bestseller, “Thinking, Fast and Slow” outlined his research on the dichotomy of thought: System 1 (instinctive) and System 2 (logical). Decades of research lead him to conclude that humans disproportionately trust human judgment and therefore place too much certainty in it. The outline of his theory is that the brain processes thought in two different ways: System …


How public safety officials talk: the importance of communication

Public safety officials give updates, instructions and other important information relating to the safety of the population before, during, and after a crisis. A well-equipped public safety official speaks in a way that simultaneously conveys authority and calm. The overall goal of a public safety official is to shine as a voice of reason and command in a time where …