ST. PAUL, Minn., March 11, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- GovDelivery, the leading provider of public sector digital communications solutions, announces the availability of a case study detailing the success of Ocean City, MD in leveraging digital communications to keep its citizens safe and informed during Hurricane Sandy. The case study details how Ocean City leveraged GovDelivery Digital Communication Management (DCM) to significantly improve government-to-citizen communications and, as a result, was in a better position to protect its stakeholders from the potential death and destruction facing the Atlantic Coast during the 2012 hurricane season. These details are particularly timely given last week's designation as National Severe Weather Preparedness Week, a nationwide effort sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) and the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to increase awareness of preparation needs in the event of severe weather.
"When we went through Hurricane Irene, even though we were pushing out communications through many channels, our residents and property owners didn't get the information they needed," said Jessica Waters, Communications Manager, Ocean City, MD. "With GovDelivery, after Hurricane Sandy, we saw very little criticism of our communications. Honestly, we felt people were thrilled with the communications after the storm, which was a huge win for us in gaining back the trust of our stakeholders."
"In times of emergencies, it's critical for the town to have a system in place that allows us to quickly reach out to our residents and stakeholders with information that they need to keep themselves and their properties safe or secure," added Joe Theobald, Emergency Services Director, Ocean City, MD. "With Hurricane Sandy, I was glad to know that we were using a robust system that could help us connect with the public in multiple ways."As a result of its proactive efforts and use of GovDelivery DCM, in just two short months, Ocean City accumulated more than 6,000 subscribers to receive emergency email alerts and text messages from the city. More than 4,000 of those subscribers signed up during the last-minute push in October prior to Hurricane Sandy making landfall. This allowed city officials to improve information delivery to residents significantly and allowed administrators to continue communicating critical information both before and after the storm hit. Ocean City is now in a much better position to maximize direct connection with the public with more than 97,000 subscribers across 19 public-facing topics. Anyone interested in signing up for Ocean City updates can visit http://oceancitymd.gov and click on the link at the top of the page to sign up for City-Wide Alerts. "A critical role of government is to keep its citizens safe and informed during emergencies," said Scott Burns, CEO and co-Founder of GovDelivery. "It's a testament to Ocean City's focus on this top priority that officials learned from previous communications challenges and improved their capabilities before the next disaster. While many East Coast residents were unprepared for Hurricane Sandy's widespread devastation, Ocean City officials were in a position to effectively and efficiently communicate emergency information to citizens and stakeholders, illustrating the power of having direct connections with the public to drive critical mission value."