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As the 2024 Atlantic hurricane season approaches, experts predict an extremely active period due to the impending transition from El Niño to a La Niña weather pattern. This shift typically results in more favorable atmospheric conditions for storm formation across the Atlantic basin, increasing the likelihood of hurricanes impacting the U.S. coastline.  

Colorado State University (CSU) forecasts 23 named storms, 11 hurricanes, and five major hurricanes for the 2024 season, making it one of the most active on record. This heightened activity underscores the importance of emergency communication systems for utilities to ensure public safety, streamlined customer communications, and effective disaster response before, during and after storms. 

(Photo Credit: FOX WEATHER NEWS)

One of the significant challenges utilities face during emergencies such as hurricanes is communication network congestion, which can delay or prevent the delivery of critical customer communications and alerts. 

Ensuring Reliable Communication During Emergencies 

Message Broadcast manages communication load during emergency events for both outbound IVR and SMS communications by leveraging its relationships with carriers, prioritized routing, and employing techniques like random distribution and call throttling to prevent overloading competitive local exchange carriers (CLECs).  

The company also maintains strong relationships with telecommunication carriers and secures priority routing for outbound communications during emergencies, ensuring that emergency messages are given precedence over non-emergency traffic. 

These techniques ensure that vital alerts are prioritized without overburdening local exchange carriers, enabling the dissemination of millions of communications per hour. 

Optimizing Communication Load During Hurricane Florence

In 2018, Hurricane Florence struck the U.S. East Coast, causing extensive flooding in areas served by Duke Energy. With 8 million customers across seven states, Duke Energy faced a significant communication challenge. Partnering with Message Broadcast enhanced their emergency messaging capabilities. 

Message Broadcast enabled a rapid transition to an SMS gateway within 24 hours, allowing Duke Energy to send over 7 million messages during the power restoration process. This high-volume throughput was essential for keeping customers informed. The system handled long SMS messages and included rich media, improving clarity and effectiveness. 

Managing such a high volume without network overload is critical during hurricanes. Message Broadcast achieved this through its carrier partnerships, priority routing, random distribution, and call throttling. These techniques ensure emergency messages are prioritized and delivered rapidly to customers. 

Enterprise Omnichannel Notification System (EONS) 

In the face of natural disasters such as hurricanes, Message Broadcast’s Enterprise Omnichannel Notification System (EONS) also stands out as a proven communications platform for utilities to respond quickly with accurate and timely messaging.  

EONS supports the seamless creation, curation, deployment, and monitoring of various communication channels, including email, interactive voice response (IVR), SMS text, chatbot, and Relay/TTY communications.  

Built for high performance, EONS aggregates and standardizes disparate information from internal and external data sources into a single, actionable dataset. It features customer-specific attributes for templated or custom messaging, allowing utilities to leverage multiple ad hoc communications in minutes and at scale during emergencies. 

Preparing for the 2024 Hurricane Season 

As the 2024 hurricane season looms with predictions of high activity, utilities must prepare to manage the increased risks of high communications load. Effective communication is key to ensuring public safety and coordinating emergency responses. Here are some strategies utilities can adopt, inspired by past successes with Message Broadcast: 

  1. Rapid Deployment and Integration: Utilities should ensure they have a robust messaging platform where content can be quickly integrated and deployed in response to an impending natural disaster.  
  1. Handling Network Congestion: Implementing strategies to manage network congestion is crucial. Techniques such as prioritized routing and call throttling can ensure that essential messages reach their recipients without delay. 
  1. Enhanced Message Content: Utilizing platforms that support long messages and rich media can improve the clarity and effectiveness of communications. This approach can help convey detailed instructions and updates to the public more effectively. 
  1. Comprehensive Training and Simulations: Regular training and simulation exercises can prepare staff to respond effectively during an actual event. Focus on thorough training and procedure reviews highlights the importance of preparedness. 
  1. Collaboration with Communication Experts: Partnering with specialists like Message Broadcast can enhance a utility’s communication capabilities, ensuring they are equipped to handle the demands of an active hurricane season. 


The 2024 hurricane season is expected to be one of the most active on record, emphasizing the need for robust emergency communication systems. By adopting proven strategies and leveraging the expertise of communication specialists like Message Broadcast, utilities can ensure they manage communication loads effectively during critical periods. This preparation will help keep the public informed and safe, demonstrating the crucial role of high-performance communications systems for managing emergency communications.