CEAN Wins Technology Award

Fairfax County Office of Public Affairs
12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 551
Fairfax, VA 22035-0065
703-324-3187, TTY 711, FAX 703-324-2010

May 22, 2006

Fairfax County’s Community Emergency Alert Network Wins Top Technology Award

The Public Technology Institute recently announced the winners of its 2005/2006 Technology Solutions Award competition, an annual program that recognizes local governments that have demonstrated how, through the use of technology, they have improved services to the community, improved internal operations or reduced costs.

Fairfax County received the top honor in the Emergency Management, Large Government category (population of 700,000 and greater) for the Community Emergency Alert Network, or CEAN. The award was presented earlier this month at the 2006 Congress for Technology Leadership in Chicago, Ill.

“Fairfax County is honored to receive this national award from PTI,” said David J. Molchany, deputy county executive for information departments. “The CEAN is an important tool for the county in communicating to our residents during times of emergency or severe weather. And the CEAN also is a great example of collaboration among several county agencies in providing such a valuable service to county residents.”

The CEAN program, managed by the Fairfax County Office of Emergency Management, is supported by both the county’s Department of Information Technology and the Office of Public Affairs.

People registered on the CEAN will be provided a personal connection to real-time updates, instructions on where to go, protective actions that need to be taken, and other important information such as National Weather Service watches and warnings.

CEAN alerts may include personal safety, weather, major accidents involving utilities or roadways, or disaster notification such as a terrorist attack. In addition, residents can register for any or all of the additional CEAN alert categories: severe weather 24/7; severe weather 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday; severe traffic disruptions and county government closings/schedule changes. Messages will be delivered to e-mail accounts, cell phones, text pagers, satellite phones and wireless PDAs that are registered on the system.

To register for the Community Emergency Alert Network, visit the Fairfax County Web page, www.fairfaxcounty.gov/cean. For additional information on the CEAN, contact the Office of Emergency Management at 703-324-2362, TTY 711.

Fairfax County Government offers the CEAN as a public service that will be used in conjunction with other public notification methods, such as the Fairfax County Government Emergency Information Line (703-817-7771, TTY 711), cable Channel 16, the Fairfax County Government Web site and area media.

Technology Solutions award entries were judged with other jurisdictions of similar size and presented by population size – small, medium and large – in the categories of emergency management; public safety (law enforcement, fire, health); sustainability (energy and environment); and telecommunications, information technology and the Web. A panel of judges from local government associations and industry selected the winning entries based on three criteria: cost savings and improved services to internal or external customers, the resourcefulness or vision of the solution and the likelihood that this solution could be used by other governments facing similar issues or problems.

The Public Technology Institute is a national member-supported organization based in Washington, D.C. A technology organization created by and for cities and counties, PTI works to identify opportunities for technology research, share best practices, offer consultancies and pilot demonstrations, promote technology development initiatives, and develop enhanced educational programming.

To request this information in an alternate format, call the Office of Public Affairs at 703-324-3187, TTY 711.

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