Medical Reserve Corps Newsletter


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Fairfax County Launches New Emergency Notification System

Fairfax County has replaced the Community Emergency Alert Network (CEAN) with Fairfax Alerts and has launched Fairfax Volunteer Alerts as part of the new system. Fairfax Volunteer Alerts is an emergency notification and communication tool specifically for Fairfax County volunteer programs, such as the Medical Reserve Corps, that support the county during emergencies.

Fairfax Volunteer Alerts offers users enhanced alert features and new functionality to ease the sending and management of alerts by the MRC Program Office. Through Fairfax Volunteer Alerts, the Fairfax MRC will be able to quickly notify volunteers via email, text and phone in the event of an emergency or during a notification exercise. In addition, the new system will enable volunteers to respond directly from their mobile device, phone or email to indicate their availability.

Fairfax Volunteer Alerts allow MRC volunteers to respond to alerts more quickly and program staff to gather availability information much more quickly and efficiently. Volunteers will receive alerts via phone, text or email, as indicated in the VMS profile; volunteers can respond directly from the message or phone call (see examples below). Volunteer Alerts will also enable the MRC program office to alert volunteers using all communication methods at one time and continue to send alerts until a response is received. Replying to the first message you receive will prevent repeat alerts via other communication methods, such as other phone numbers, text message or email addresses in your VMS profile. 

Graphic showing two types of Fairfax Volunteer Alert - text and email Additionally, Fairfax Volunteer Alerts standardizes the "from" address in every message sent; email messages will come from a standard email header "Fairfax Volunteer Alerts," text messages will come from a standard phone number "893-61," and phone calls will come from phone number (571) 350-1390, allowing you to set a contact for the emergency alert system.

In July, the Fairfax MRC will conduct its next quarterly notification drill using Fairfax Volunteer Alerts to provide you with an opportunity to practice using the new system. Following the drill, we will conduct a post-event survey for your input on how the new system worked. We are looking forward to your feedback!

Because all contact information for this system will be taken directly from the volunteers' account in VMS, it is critical that you maintain updated contact information in VMS, including all phone numbers, email addresses and text message selections.

Fairfax Volunteer Alerts will only provide notifications sent by the Fairfax MRC and NOT notifications for weather hazards, traffic or information regarding government closings. MRC Volunteers must sign up for Fairfax Alerts to receive weather, traffic and other important notifications from Fairfax County at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/alerts/.

Read the full July 2014 newsletter.

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