How Mobile Phones Helped Catch the Boston Bombers

On Monday, April 15th, 2013, the City of Boston was attacked during the running of the 117th Boston Marathon. Following the attack, area police coordinated with the FBI for a week-long manhunt to find those responsible and bring them to justice. This lead to the most widespread regional lockdowns in U.S. history coordinated through mass communication platforms.

The attacks in Boston affected thousands. Many of these individuals were Boston residents, employees of area businesses, or visiting from out of town. The critical communication strategy that touched these individuals and communicated important safety information came from many sources and networks. While Social Media, TV, and Radio also disseminated important information, the most accurate were via cell phone alerts to targeted areas.

Emergency Notifications Kept Local Area Residents Safe and Out of Harm’s Way
When the City of Boston executed its lock-down, area businesses were then able to use their own mass communication platforms and social media to pass along the message to employees who were not registered with The City of Boston’s alerts. This network effect allowed information to pass to a much greater population, faster than traditionally possible before mass communication.

As the manhunt for the suspects was launched, Boston, Cambridge, Watertown, Waltham, Newton, and surrounding communities shut down public transportation. Within hours, citizens were sheltered in place with locked doors and windows, following instructions broadcast to their phones, mobile devices, tablets, and computers.

Is Your Mobile Device Registered with Local First Responders?
Crisis communication played a pivotal role in the events that followed the explosions in downtown Boston, from the initial response to the eventual regional lock-downs and apprehension of the final suspect. However, in the event of Chemical Spill, Wildfire, Flooding, Gas Leak, Terror Attack, or Police Action, how would you know what to do? How would you know when to evacuate or when it’s safe to return to the area?

It’s simple. Register your mobile phone with all local First Responders. It only takes a few minutes and it could save you and your family’s life.

Preparation, planning, and swift response can minimize property loss and injury to your family if you know when and how to evacuate. When you register your mobile phone with local First Responders you could gain an extra 10 to 20 minutes to take action, which could mean the difference between life and death. Alerts from local First Responders are accurate to within a city block so the warnings and instructions they provide are the best information you can get from emergency personnel on the scene of an affected area.

Don’t rely on the news and social media for important updates. Registering with a local Emergency Notification System (ENS) is fast, easy and it could save your life. You’ll gain as much as an extra 20 minutes to make a decision and act. To find the right ENS in your area by ZIP code visit

Don't miss the call to evacuate or shelter-in-place

The first step in keeping your family safe is to register all your mobile phones with local Reverse911 services

Learn step-by-step how to set up Reverse911 and create an effective Emergency Plan to protect your whole family before, during, and after the most common emergencies. It's FREE to sign up.

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