United States Coast Guard Leverages AtHoc IWSAlerts for Emergency Notification during Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill — Press Release

by: Matthew Potter
June 4, 2010

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United States Coast Guard Leverages AtHoc IWSAlerts for Emergency Notification during Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill

AtHoc Network-Centric Mass Notification System Alerts USCG Personnel, Maritime Industry Partners and Other Government Agencies during Emergency

SAN MATEO, Calif. (June 3, 2010) – To enhance maritime safety and security, the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) is using AtHoc IWSAlerts™ to support its response to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. The AtHoc network-centric emergency mass notification system is the enterprise-wide standard for the USCG, capable of reaching 50,000 USCG personnel and maritime industry members with alerts and critical information.

AtHoc IWSAlerts is being used to improve communications and coordination among maritime partners–whether they are industry or other agencies–about the oil spill incident management.

Specifically, the USCG’s enterprise-wide emergency notification system is actively being used for timely external communications such as waterway closures due to the oil spill and conversely to communicate about ports that are open. In addition, the mass notification solution is being employed for communicating internal mission-critical information such as recalls to assist with response to the oil spill incident and notifying USCG staff to report to the USCG command center.

“In the ongoing oil spill disaster, the Coast Guard is using an IP-based emergency mass notification system for internal communications and response tool,” said USCG Lt. Commander Ted Kim. “By using the power of network-centric alerting, we are able to notify the community faster and share and process information about the oil spill. The system’s ability also to collect information from all alert recipients provides us with unprecedented situational awareness based on information received from the entire community. All of which translates into being able to make better decisions more rapidly and communicating them swiftly to all stakeholders.”

The same AtHoc technology used by the USCG serves as the standard of the U.S. Navy (known as the Wide Area Alerting and Notification System – WAAN) and is used throughout the Department of Defense (DoD). In fact, it has been identified by the recent DoD report on the Ft. Hood incident as a best practice for modern mass notification capability.

Having agencies and services across DoD, Department of Homeland Security and other government agencies use the same technology provides a path to solving critical problems of inter-agency communication and interoperability that were identified consistently in after-action-reports of recent emergency events.
The USCG’s Alert and Warning System (AWS) emergency notification system was initially developed to transmit maritime security notifications and receive confirmations from maritime security partners and other stakeholders as required by the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002. AWS has gone through a significant upgrade with the purchase of AtHoc in December 2009 and the integration of the latter with “Homeport,” the Coast Guard’s portal. The upgraded system provides greater usability and functionality and supports additional USCG missions – hurricane preparedness, natural disasters, personnel recalls, search and rescue operations, and waterway closure. The AtHoc solution supports the next generation of AWS for all Coast Guard missions and provides additional capabilities and services to the USCG and maritime partners.

About AtHoc

AtHoc is the pioneer and recognized leader in providing enterprise-class, network-centric emergency notification systems to military, government and commercial organizations. AtHoc’s products are used for physical security, force protection, personnel accountability, recall and regulatory compliance. Millions of end-users worldwide, in organizations such as the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard, NASA, UCLA, Microsoft, Boeing and Raytheon rely on AtHoc’s unified notification systems for their emergency alerting and critical communication needs. AtHoc has partnered with market leaders including Microsoft, Cisco, Dell, Harris, Siemens, Northrop Grumman, MIR3, Lockheed Martin and others to bring these notification solutions to the public and commercial markets.

For more information on AtHoc, please visit http://www.athoc.com.

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