Emergency Communications

HDESD emergency toolsThe High Desert Education Service District is committed to communicating effectively with our staff and community during times of harsh weather, emergency, or natural disaster. We have the following communication tools and protocols in place:

1) Emergency News Blog During a crisis, the emergency page of our website will be updated with information as it is received and verified.

2) Twitter Account Follow @HDESDemergency for emergency updates. If you are a Twitter user, you can set up mobile notifications. Posts can be delivered to your cell phone as SMS/text messages. Messages are sent during an emergency or cancellations and during two system tests during the year.

3) Telephone Tree The internal staff telephone list will be used to spread news to ESD employees.


Twitter Information

Why Twitter? In 2010, HDESD began searching for a mobile communications tool for use in emergency. After reviewing and testing multiple options, Twitter was chosen as one piece of our emergency communication plan. Here’s a quick video that highlights one of the benefits (humorous):


Notice how his phone alerted him of a new message? That’s why we chose Twitter for the mobile portion of our emergency communications plan. There are similar services available for fees that range from cheap to expensive. But, in the past two years, we’ve watched Twitter become more stable and an integral part of mass communications during events (revolutions) and natural disasters (earthquakes, tornadoes, tsunamis). FEMA, the CDC, states, towns, and many organizations have been using Twitter as part of their communications strategy too. We’re in good company. And it’s free.


Getting Started

How Do I Get Started?
(Four steps are required. Each of the links below opens in a new window. Return to this page after each.)

1) Join Twitter

Sign up for a new account on the home page at https://twitter.com.

2) Setup Mobile Notifications

When logged in, visit the mobile settings page to enter your information.

Once you’ve connected your device, check this box:

“Tweets from people you’ve enabled for mobile notifications.”

3) Follow @HDESDemergency

When logged in, click on @HDESDemergency.

Click the Follow button.

4) Send @HDESDemergency Messages to Your Phone

While still on the @HDESDemergency page, click user box (with silhouette of person).

Select “Turn on mobile notifications.”

(To doublecheck, click user box again and verify that message is now “Turn off mobile notifications.”)

enabling mobile alerts on twitter


5) Watch For Test Messages on the first of each month.


Going Further

Want More? One of the reasons we chose Twitter is that you don’t have to do anything or go anywhere once you’ve set up your account and notifications. But Twitter is great for many reasons beyond its ease of use. Here’s another video, a little longer, still humorous (watch for SnoopDogg at around the one-minute mark). It highlights the wider appeal of Twitter:


Here are some great accounts to follow related to our work at High Desert Education Service District:

HDESD (main account, general info) – @HDESD Gov. Kate Brown – @OregonGovBrown
Healthy Beginnings (Our Own!) – @HlthyBeginnings The Oregonian@Oregonian
Redmond Schools – @RedmondSchools US Dept of Education – @usedgov
Bend-La Pine Schools – @BLPSchools Oregon Education Assoc@oregoneducation
National Assoc of Elementary School Principals – @NAESP OSBA Legislative – @OSBANews
Oregon Museum of Science and Industry – @OMSI Bend Bulletin – @thebulletin

Here are some great general accounts:

Twitter – @twitter ODOT Trip Check (favorite!) – full list
The New York Times – @nytimes The Today Show – @todayshow
Lost Oregon – @LostOregon Think Out Loud (OPB) – @ThinkOutLoudOPB
The National Archives – @USNatArchives The National Debt – @NationalDebt
Sesame Street – @sesamestreet Mental Floss – @mental_floss
TED Talks – @tedtalks

And here’s one last video. For the moms, dads, sons, and daughters in our midst.

So…. All of us. Happy tweeting.