A catastrophic storm ripped through northern Alabama on Wed. April 27, 2011, killing more than 200 people around the state.Pictured above is the damage to Tillery's home after a F5 tornado hit on April 27 in Athens, Ala. She and her family all survived unharmed. Courtesy photo by Sue Tillery.

REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. -- Your phone rings: "Please report to your appointed shelter" the message says. Within the hour, a F5 tornado rips through your neighborhood.

Approximately 1, 600 tornadoes occurred across the states in the 2011 tornado outbreak. Locally, homes were flattened and thousands were left without power, including Redstone Arsenal.

How were you notified about the storm? And did your supervisor know you were safe?

In the event of an emergency, the U.S. Army Materiel Command uses the Emergency Notification System to warn its employees of pending danger.

However, technology is only as effective as the information provided by the workforce.

Currently, 38% of the HQ AMC workforce has a mobile phone number listed in the ENS system, 27% have a home phone listed, 15% have an emergency contact listed, and 33% of the workforce have signed up to be notified via their home email in the event of an emergency.

The purpose of the ENS system is to alert users of impending or occurring emergency conditions and to communicate critical information to the users before, during and after an event.

"For example, in the event of a tornado warning, all employees will receive a message saying that they should report to their appointed shelter," Morgan Stangle, Staff Action Control Officer for the AMC Operations Center, said. "Another example is if we have a base closure the ENS system will target user's alternate contact methods to inform them that they are to stay at home due to base closure, and that those mission essential personnel should or should not report to work."

Submitting your information is voluntary, but not providing all the requested information -- including your personal mobile phone, home phone, email -- could lead to an employee not receiving information in a timely manner.

To prevent vexing employees with notification after notification, the system gives the user the option to acknowledge.

"Each end user will receive notification until they respond; at that point the system will stop sending notifications," said Stangle. "For example, if we have a tornado warning issued during working hours each end user will receive a pop up notification on their desktop, an e-mail, and potentially a call on their work phone. If the user acknowledges the message the notices will stop, if they do not respond they will then roll over to sending to their alternate points of contact," Stangle explained.

Your information within the ENS system is protected by the Privacy Act to prevent the sharing of personal information.

"ENS helps to keep employees safe, keeps them informed of what is going on. It also provides leadership an easy and effective -- if employees use the system --method to obtain accountability," Stangle said.

To update your information: right click the purple icon in your tool bar; select Access Self Service, update information on the 'My Info' tab and 'Devices' tab.

Page last updated Fri February 3rd, 2012 at 14:49