EBS: SMARTWeather Settings Best Practices

SMARTWeather Feature Available

Text Message Alert Hyperlink

Automated weather alerts now include a hyperlink that lead recipients to a page on your Member Portal which displays the full NWS text and weather alert shape.

If the text message and email alerts do not have this hyperlink, please contact Everbridge Technical Support to have this feature activated.

Email Alert Hyperlink
Member Portal Weather Alert

SMARTWeather Activation

SMARTWeather Activation

The Automated Weather sub-tab must display Status: ACTIVE for subscribed contacts to receive weather SMARTWeather alerts.

Quiet Periods

Quiet Period

A recommended option to use is the Quiet Period feature, which allows subscribed contacts to set times in which they will not receive SMARTWeather alerts. For example, many contacts may not want to receive an alert at three in the morning; however, account and organization administrators can use the Quiet Period Override option, which will ensure that, no matter the time, subscribed contacts will receive, for instance, alerts for tornado warnings.

More information about Quiet Periods and Alert Subscriptions can be found in knowledge base article 0000063038 - Best Practices for Configuring an Everbridge Organization’s Weather Alert Subscriptions.

To view a contact's quiet period for weather alerts, please see knowledge base article 000066531 - How to View and Edit a Contact’s Quiet Time for Automated Weather Alerts.

SMARTWeather Alert Types

SMARTWeather Alert Types

Selecting to Display any alert type will allow contacts to opt in for that particular SMARTWeather alert type. It is recommended to activate only the alerts your NWS local forecast office indicates are valid for your area and climate.

You can find your NWS local forecast office by entering your ZIP code in the upper left-hand corner on the National Weather Service website.

Using the example pictured to the right, you would click on the Los Angeles/Oxnard, CA link and scroll to the bottom of the page to get contact information for the NWS local forecast office.

SMARTWeather Alert Options: Required, New, & All Clear

Required, New, All Clear Options
  • Required: Contacts who opt in will automatically be subscribed to that alert. It is recommended to only require these alerts for weather events that are truly hazardous to your area. NOTE: Even if contacts have the option to edit their subscriptions will not be able to unsubscribe from these alerts.
  • New: Contacts who opt in will receive SMARTWeather Alerts that fall into the "New" category.
  • All Clear: Contacts who opt in will receive SMARTWeather Alerts that fall into the "All Clear" category.

As you set up your SMARTWeather Alerts, determine the importance of sending out "Expiration" or "Cancellation" (All Clear) alerts, as your contacts may not want to receive them. However, for high-risk weather events, it may be beneficial to send "All Clear" alert types. Low-risk events may not rise to the level of requiring a separate "All Clear" notification.

SMARTWeather Template Conditions

The NWS has categories other than "New" and "All Clear" weather alerts Everbridge categorizes these weather alerts as either "New" or "All Clear":

New

All Clear

  • Continued
  • Upgraded
  • Correction
  • Extension in Time
  • Extension in Area
  • Extension in Both
  • Canceled
  • Expired
SMARTWeather Template Conditions

By default, any "New" template will only send a weather alert if its condition is "New". However, templates can be edited to include any of the other conditions.

Contact your local NWS forecast office to find out which weather alerts are issued for your area.

SMARTWeather Templates: Send To

SMARTWeather Templates: Send To

The Send to selection determines if weather alerts are sent to only the contacts who have opted in to that alert, or every contact that is both:

  1. in your organization
    1. This includes contacts who have been manually uploaded (i.e., via 911 data, white and yellow page data)
  2. within the weather alert polygon created by the NWS

Keep in mind that the "all contacts" option will only send to contacts who are geocoded (i.e., if a contact registers for your Member Portal but does not provide an address, they will not receive an "all contacts" weather alert).

It is recommended to use the "all contacts" option sparingly, as this is primarily used for weather events that pose a significant hazard to your area.

SMARTWeather Templates

SMARTWeather Templates Default New All Clear

Default SMARTWeather templates can be edited by choosing either the New or All clear links. Selecting either of these will allow you to edit any templates that appear as Default - New or Default - All clear.

SMARTWeather Templates Particular

Additionally, there are templates for certain SMARTWeather Alerts that can be edited individually. These templates are:

  • Coastal Flood Warning
  • Flash Flood Warning
  • Tsunami Warning
  • Severe Thunderstorm Warning
  • Tornado Warning
  • Hail Alert
  • Lightning Alert

Any changes made to these templates will only apply to that particular template. It is recommended to review all of your templates for consistency whenever a change is made to any template.

Hail & Lightning Alerts

Hail & Lightning Alerts

If your organization intends to send hail or lightning alerts, it is recommended to edit these templates to prevent alerts from being sent in rapid succession. Set the Don't send when an alert is within x minutes/hours of previous alert to an appropriate interval for your area.

NOTE:
Weather Event Type Variable

Do not delete the [Weather Event Type] variable that appears in the template Title and Body.

If the variable is deleted, the alert will still be sent but will not include the appropriate weather event type.

Message Template Formatting Suggestions

Message Template Formatting Example
  • Identify your jurisdiction in the message to let your contacts know who is sending the alert.
  • Use short, actionable messages for SMS delivery to ensure your contacts receive the complete alert in order. A single SMS message can contain up to 140 characters (including spaces).
  • Listen to the Text to Speech version of the alert. Contacts who receive the alert from voice delivery methods need to be able to understand it, so avoid using excessive acronyms, jargon, and phone numbers.
  • Use the "Include a separate message for email notifications" option to format the font and include images, hyperlinks, and tables in the email notification version of the alert. NOTE: The [Weather Event Type] variable can not be used in the separate message for email notifications option.
  • More message suggestions can be found in Knowledge Base Article 000001289 - CARES Best Practice Program.

Default Contacts

Template Default Contacts

Contacts added to SMARTWeather Alert templates will always receive the alert notification, regardless of the selection method (individual, group, rules, or from the map). Avoid using rules that select all contacts in your organization. Oftentimes, it is best to let the NWS-created polygon select the contacts to alert.

Template Settings

Template Settings
  • Use multiple delivery methods to ensure you are able to reach your contacts.
  • Use confirmation.
  • Use a delivery method sequence that will match the needs of your contacts.
  • NOTE: If your template uses a custom email (the "Include a separate message for email notifications" option), consider placing that delivery method higher in the order.

Locations & Geo-Fence

Locations & Geo-Fence

Set the Location field to Mandatory to ensure that contacts who opt in to your organization will receive SMARTWeather Alerts.

Having an active Geo-Fence will prevent contacts from adding locations and addresses that are outside of your jurisdiction. It is recommended using a Geo-Fence to ensure that your contacts receive accurate SMARTWeather Alerts for their area. Not using a Geo-Fence can easily result in having contacts with addresses thousands of miles away, with unnecessary SMARTWeather Alerts from your organization being sent to those contacts.

Addresses Outside Geo-Fence Quick Report

You can identify addresses that fall outside of a Geo-Fence by using the Addresses Outside Geo-Fence quick report. Use the results of this report to update contact records as necessary.

More information regarding Geo-Fences can be found in the Knowledge Base Article 000005109 - Refreshing Your Weather Alert Geo-Fence.

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