Bill John Baker: Cherokee Nation improves notification system

Cherokee Nation Chief Bill John Baker. Photo from Cherokee Nation

Cherokee Nation Chief Bill John Baker touts improvements in the tribe's inclement weather alert system:
This week Cherokee Nation used its new phone messaging system that sends a voicemail and/or text message to Cherokee Nation government employees with cell phones in the event of severe weather or an emergency. It was overwhelmingly successful, as almost 1,300 calls and 1,475 text messages went out to alert our staff of a delayed work day.

Cherokee Nation contracted with a company called Blackboard Connect for the mass notification service because we want to ensure we get information as out as quickly as possible. These are decisions that affect our work day and the business of our tribal government. In the past, when a foot of snow or patches of ice covered the ground, our employees and the citizens we service would call the tribal complex early that morning to hear a recorded message whether tribal offices would be open.

We knew there must be a better, smarter and faster way to communicate, so Cherokee Nation’s information technology department created a database of all government-issued employee cell phones in Blackboard Connect. Employees without a government issued cell phone were also given the option to add their phone numbers in as well. Now when inclement weather strikes and our administration makes a decision to close the complex, start work later than normal or close early, employees receive a phone call, a text message or both, as early as possible. The notifications are distributed by our communications office.

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Bill John Baker: New inclement weather alerts improve safety (The Grand Lake News 3/3)

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