EBS: How to Refresh Your SmartWeather Alert Geo-Fence in Everbridge Suite

NOTE: Best practices for SMARTWeather settings are available in the following knowledge base article 000063283: EBS: SMARTWeather Settings Best Practices.

Primary Issue

Residents in my jurisdictional boundary are receiving automated weather alerts for events that are not taking place in my jurisdiction.

Primary Cause

Contacts that have entered addresses in their profile outside of your jurisdiction are triggering automated weather alerts because there is no geo-fence set up.

Primary Steps to Solve

Weather Alert Geo Fence
  1. Log in to the Manager Portal and select the appropriate organization from the upper right-hand corner.
  2. Deactivate your weather alerts to ensure that errant alerts are not going out while you're configuring the system.
  3. Create a geo-fence:
    1. Go to Settings > Member Portal > Information Collection > Locations.
    2. Click Use a Geo-Fence to control addresses.
    3. Click Edit Geo-Fence. This will display a list of polygons that you have saved in your Shape Library settings.
      1. If you do not have easy access to a shape file, you can draw a polygon in the map on the Universe tab that is similar to your boundary. Save this polygon and then return to the settings tab.
    4. Select the polygon that matches your jurisdictional boundary.
      1. Do NOT select "Add addresses even if outside of fence".
    5. Click Save.
  4. Run a report to view all contacts that exist outside of your geo-fence.
    1. Go to Reports > Quick Reports > Addresses Outside Geo-Fence > View Report > Download.
  5. Open the report.
    1. NOTE: Excel may change the long numeric External IDs of opt-in contacts by stripping off the last few digits. Follow normal best practices for editing opt-in records when performing database manipulations.
    2. Please see knowledge base article 000063032 - EBS: Downloaded Contact Data And/or Notification Data Is Not Properly Displayed When Imported Into a New Excel File in Everbridge Suite for additional information.
  6. Using a spreadsheet program, identify which addresses are outside of your jurisdiction.
    1. NOTE: The report will include ALL addresses for that contact (even those within the jurisdiction).
    2. Recommendations and guidelines:
      • Focus on contacts that have more than one location.
      • Start by sorting and removing addresses for contacts with states listed that are not in your jurisdiction.
      • Next sort and remove addresses for city names that are not in your jurisdiction.
      • Once you've identified an address that is outside of your jurisdiction, delete the errant address information that is stored in "street address", "apt/suite", "city" "state/province", "postal code", "country", "latitude" and "longitude". DO NOT DELETE the information in the "location" column.
  7. Once you have removed all the addresses outside of your jurisdiction, perform an upload using the UPDATE function upload to your Mass Notification system.
    1. Ensure that you follow normal best practices for data management:
      • ​​ALWAYS download before you upload.
      • NEVER upload more than you need to. If you're just editing addresses, then don't have columns for delivery methods in the file.
      • DO NOT perform a REPLACE.
      • DO NOT upload the file if the opt-in External IDs don't match.
      • Check twice, upload once.
  8. Check your Universe tab to verify that all contacts outside of your jurisdiction are removed.

Background

  1. Everbridge's SmartWeather product will trigger an automated notification when all three of the following conditions are met:
    1. A contact must have a geocoded address (they must be visible on the Universe tab as a dot).
    2. A weather alert must have been released for an area that includes a geocoded address (the dot must be within the weather alert polygon from NWS).
    3. A contact must have subscribed to that weather alert type OR the weather alert template must be set to "Send to ALL impacted contacts".
  2. A contact will receive an automated weather alert for ANY of their geocoded addresses, regardless of whether or not they are in your jurisdiction.
  3. If a geo-fence is not being used in the settings for your public Member Portal, contacts have the ability to provide addresses outside of your jurisdiction.
    1. As a best practice, Everbridge recommends disabling the option for "Add addresses even if outside of fence". Enabling this feature will allow contacts will be able to geocode outside of your jurisdiction, regardless of a geo-fence.
  4. Everbridge's SmartWeather product allows an administrator to assign default contacts to weather alert templates. These contacts will receive the automated weather alert EVERY time it is triggered.
  5. Everbridge's SmartWeather product allows an administrator to alter the default messages for automated weather alerts. An administrator could set a weather alert template to read as "A Tornado Warning has triggered for Suffolk County", rather than the default message of "A Tornado Warning has been issued for your area".
  6. Applying a geo-fence to a public Member Portal AFTER contacts have provided addresses outside of the geo-fence will NOT remove the addresses outside of your jurisdiction.

General Weather Recommendations for State and Local Governments

  1. Use a geo-fence.
  2. Ensure that no contacts exist outside your geo-fence.
  3. Do not use the option for "send to all impacted contacts" if you do not have broadcast throttling rules defined.
  4. Do not assign groups, rules or shapes to default weather templates which will result in notifying more people than are within the NWS weather alert polygon.
  5. Consider assigning a group of your administrators to receive these alerts by default, so that you know when your system is activating.
  6. Use best judgement to decide on what weather alert subscriptions to use. Texas is hot in the summer. Minnesota is cold in the winter. Most clients use SmartWeather for truly urgent or emergency events (Tornado, Flash Flood, Tsunami, etc.).
  7. Consider altering your delivery methods based on the weather alert type. For example, while it may make sense to message, email and dial every delivery method for a tornado warning, the same may not be true for a winter storm watch.
  8. ALWAYS use confirmation.
  9. ALWAYS use a delivery method interval.
  10. Set your conditions to be appropriate to the weather alert type. For example, you may want tornado warnings to activate for "New", "Corrected", "Upgraded", and "Extended" alerts. Freeze warnings on the other hand may not need quite the same level of urgency.
  11. Use the "Quiet Period" and "Quiet Period Override" settings.
  12. Educate your residents, so that they know what to expect from your system.
  13. Partner with your local NWS office to ensure that you're building your settings to match the specific vulnerabilities for your location.
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