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AtHoc Emergency Mass Notification System receives upgrade

AtHoc, an interactive warning system that allows senior leaders to inform base personnel of urgent information such as base closures or delayed openings, recently received updates to its system that requires the user to verify contact information.

“This update is more reliable and we won’t have as many of the connectivity issues that we’ve had in the past. Prior to this update, AtHoc ran on a server and now it’s more cloud-based, providing better consistency,” said Master Sgt. Todd Wireman, Air Force Materiel Command command and control operations training and standardization manager.

Users should look on the desktop of their unclassified government computer to find the white globe with purple ring icon in the system tray – the old version of AtHoc is a purple globe which should not be used. Right-clicking on the white globe and selecting “Access Self-Service” will open a browser window where users can input work and personal email addresses and phone numbers, select if they’re members of groups such as the Emergency Operations Center or Crisis Action Team, and even add contact information for their family members, so they will receive notifications as well.

After updating contact information using a government computer, users can download the Blackberry AtHoc app from either the Apple or Google app stores. After opening the app, users should enter the personal email address they provided into the app, then verify that email address by clicking on the link in an email that they will receive. When prompted whether to open the link in the AtHoc app, users should agree. Users will then be asked to enter their organization’s code. Currently, the app serves as a way to receive messages through AtHoc, but an expanded feature set is planned for the future.

The system notifies users via phone call, text message or email. Messages are sent through the same mass alert system that provides pop-up notifications to personnel through desktop workstations. These individuals will normally be notified between 4 and 5 a.m. in the event of extreme weather.

If the white globe icon is missing from a user’s system tray, they should contact their Communications Focal Point or submit a trouble call ticket to have the new AtHoc installed through the VESD shortcut on their government computer’s desktop.

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