OHSEP Director: New mass communication app expands capabilities at lower cost

Published 5:11 pm Friday, February 23, 2024

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VIDALIA, La. — The Concordia Parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (OHSEP) is launching a new mass notification system called Genasys.

According to Concordia Parish OHSEP Director Tim Vanier, the new system went live on Jan.26 and replaced the previously used system CodeRED.

Vanier said the Genasys system offers unlimited users and messages and an easy-to-use interface with more capabilities at a lower cost.

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Unlike with the previous system, residents who are subscribed to the messages can reply from a list of options so that the administrators can collect data, such as marking themselves safe in a weather event or indicating if the power is out in their area.

“It is the goal of this office to introduce this software to all emergency entities and municipal entities in the parish so that each entity can also send out not only public alerts but also in-house and group alerts,” he said.

The new software also allows for automatic notification to entities based on the type of notification.

For example, if a notification was sent out of a fire, the software would automatically notify fire department personnel on and off duty of the event.

Genasys will be used to communicate public safety topics including severe weather, evacuations, water boil notices, rescinded water boil notices, missing person alerts, amber alerts, child abductions, bomb threats, active shooter situations, hydrant testing, etc.

All residents are encouraged to sign up for alerts at www.conppj.org/emergency.html.

During the registration process, residents can choose the types of alerts they would like to receive and how to receive them, including landline phones, cell phones, text/SMS messages, email, and through the Genasys Protect mobile app.

During the registration process, residents can customize the order they wish to receive alerts.  To receive targeted messages by location, it is encouraged to add a home address when registering.

Residents can add multiple addresses, for example, a home address and a work address.

The information entered into the system is for the purposes of communicating emergency and official parish or municipal information only – neither Genasys nor Concordia Parish OHSEP will share or sell any user information.

“Genasys Inc. is designed with one premise, ensuring organizations and public safety agencies are ready when it matters,” according to a news release.

The company provides the Genasys Protect platform, a comprehensive portfolio of preparedness, response, and analytics software and systems.

Genasys serves state and local governmental agencies and education (SLED), enterprise organizations in critical sectors such as oil and gas utilities, manufacturing, and automotive, and federal governments and the military.

Genasys Protective Communications Solutions have diverse applications, including emergency warning and mass notification for public safety, critical event management for enterprise companies, de-escalation for defense and law enforcement, and automated detection of real-time threats like active shooters and severe weather.

Today, Genasys protects over 70 million people globally and is used in more than 100 countries, including more than 500 cities, counties/parishes, and states in the U.S.

For more information visit genasys.com.