Communication Schools' Focus for Future Storms

Getting information to parents even without power is key lesson learned, superintendent says.

Communication is going to be key in dealing with future storms that cause power outages of the magnitude of Hurricane Sandy, Superintendent of Schools Michael Schilder said at Tuesday's board of education meeting.

Schilder said that figuring out a new way of communicating is going to be key in getting through future storms, and the district has to find a new way of doing so.

"The thing we are looking at now is what we can do when the power's out to still have some sort of communication with people," he said.

To answer this question, Schilder said, the district has already begun looking into different methods of communication, including outside posting services, or using Gmail or another service that houses information "in the cloud."

"The posting service is very expensive," he said. "Do we use something housed in the cloud that doesn't depend on power?"

But whatever the district decides, Schilder said, there is an archiving component.

"We have to have an archived server to preserve everything we do business-wide," he said. "We have to have archiving along with that service, so we are starting to look at all those options."

How do you think the district did with communication during the storm? What could they have done differently?

ASW November 15, 2012 at 11:38 AM
I think communication was fine. I received emails, cell calls and landline calls. My guess is not everyone has multiple devices/methods of communication listed and therefore did not receive the info. Requiring multiple contacts may be the simplest way to go.
jeannette stiefel November 15, 2012 at 12:07 PM
How about having people living near one another telling each other. Lists of who is near who could be drawn up and have people communicate in person if near enough.
Mike November 15, 2012 at 01:59 PM
Honeywell worked fine, at least for us - you get to choose from email, text, and robocall. I imagine the Honeywell service has its own redundancy; it does, though, depend on authorized district personnel to trigger it. Hopefully they have that taken care of (chain of command). Nothing should be exclusively hosted by the district (I'm thinking about email). At some point, people completely cut off (no phone, no power, no Internet, no devices working, etc.) need to reach out just a bit (i.e., find a friend/neighbor with 21st century technology). I think it's unreasonable to expect Dr Schilder to mobilize the staff to go door-knocking. I'm sure there's at least one resident in BRRSD with disaster planning experience who can advise the Board/Administration to some extent.


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