What is the National Emergency Notification System?
The National Emergency Notification System (also known as NENS) is a nation-wide system used to broadcast public safety messaging on major incidents. NENS distributes emergency alerts by interrupting radio broadcasts across the Cayman Islands and delivering messages directly to individuals’ personal devices through SMS alerts and the AtHoc by Blackberry app.
What kind of emergencies will I receive a notification about?
The National Emergency Notification System is used to notify the public about imminent threats to health and safety relating to major incidents. An incident is considered a national emergency if multiple agencies are involved in the response. Whilst the list below is not intended to be exhaustive of all of the types of incidents that would notified via NENS, the list shown below provides examples of the sorts of incidents to which the National Emergency Notification System would alert you:
What information will be included in the alert message?
The emergency alert will include details of the incident including what kind of incident it is, where it is primarily located (if applicable) and when it occurred. The message will also include any essential public safety messaging such as instructions to stay away from the area or to seek higher ground.
Could I receive an emergency notification 24 hours a day?
Yes. Hazard Management Cayman Islands works closely with the Department of Public Safety Communications (DPSC) to ensure 24-hour, 365-day coverage of the National Emergency Notification System. Therefore, even if a national emergency occurs outside normal office hours, an alert will still be issued.
How quickly are notifications deployed?
For devices with the app set up, the notification will be received almost instantaneously after the message is dispatched from HMCI or DPSC. For those who have signed up for SMS alerts, the delivery time cannot be guaranteed by the service provider due to message congestion. It is advised that SMS alerts are only adopted by those who are unable to access the AtHoc app on their device.
Who can sign up to receive emergency notifications?
All residents of the Cayman Islands are encouraged to sign up to receive emergency notifications on either the AtHoc App or via SMS.
Visitors to the Cayman Islands may also sign up to receive emergency notifications for the duration of their stay in the Cayman Islands.
In accordance with our Privacy Notice (which is available via our website – nens.gov.ky/privacynotice) your personal data will only be used for the purpose of notifying you under the National Emergency Notification System.
Who is Blackberry AtHoc?
Blackberry AtHoc is a globally recognized leader in crisis communication and is used by organizations and the government in the US and elsewhere. HMCI have teamed up with AtHoc by Blackberry to create a consolidated solution for the National Emergency Notification System to enable the rapid deployment of emergency messaging to the public through a number of different channels from a single platform.
How do I download the AtHoc App?
I have an IPhone
If you have an Apple iPhone, the AtHoc App is available for download from the Apple Store.
There is a minimum technical requirement before you can download and use the App on your phone. The App requires that your phone’s operating system (known as your IOS) is version 12.4.8 or above. Most phones are setup to automatically update to the latest version of IOS. So, it is unlikely that you will need to take any action. However, if you experience difficulties with downloading the App and you are unsure how to upgrade the IOS version on your phone, you will need to seek support from your phone provider.
I have a Samsung Phone or other Android Phone
If you have a Samsung or other brand of Android Phone, the App is available for download from the Google Play Store.
How do I know if I’ve set it up correctly?
After inputting ‘HMCI’ as the organization code and clicking ‘next’, you will see the below screen. That’s it, you’re ready to start receiving emergency alerts.
Why do I need to provide my email address when signing up for the app?
You will need to provide your email address as part of the Sign-Up process to download and setup the App on your phone. However, email notifications are not provided as part of the service and therefore, in compliance with our data protection obligations, your email address will be purged automatically.
Can I sign up on multiple devices using the same email address?
Yes. You can use your email address to sign up on 2 devices.
Which types of devices can I download the app onto?
The Blackberry app AtHoc is available in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.
How do I know that when I sign up for the app my personal information will be kept safe?
BlackBerry At Hoc uses strong encryption in the application to ensure the protection of data for all web-based communication. BlackBerry has also achieved accreditation against an internationally recognised standard for information security management. Data will be stored in the UK which is considered to provide an adequate level of protection of your personal data for the purposes of the Data Protection Act. BlackBerry complies with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation with respect to the processing of personal data.
Will my information be shared with third parties?
No. The Cayman Islands Government and Blackberry respect your right to privacy and are committed to protecting your personal information. Any personal information you provide will only be used for its stated purpose.
What if my phone number or email address change?
Visit the portal to update your information if your details change.
Does the app or SMS alerts use my device’s credit?
Service providers on-island have agreed to allow the public access to downloading the Blackberry AtHoc by app and to receiving alerts via the app or SMS free of charge.
Will the alert noise still play if my device is on silent?
If you have downloaded and set up the app, yes. The alert noise is played as an audio file and not as a ringer therefore isn’t impacted by those settings. However, SMS alerts will be impacted by volume settings.
Can I delete the app or request to no longer receive SMS alerts at any time? What will happen to the personal information I have provided?
Yes. Should you no longer wish to receive emergency notifications for the Cayman Islands, you can delete the app or request to no longer receive SMS alerts via the portal nens.gov.ky. Once you opt out, your personal information will be deleted.
If I don’t sign up to receive National Emergency Notification System alerts, how else would I be notified if there was a major incident?
The National Emergency Notification System distributes emergency alerts by interrupting radio broadcasts to all radio stations across the Cayman Islands. Official sources of government information including gov.ky, caymanprepared.ky, Radio Cayman and government social media channels will be updated with timely information in the event of a major incident.
What if I need more information or guidance?
For more information or guidance on set up, please contact NENS@gov.ky
Emergencies can happen anytime, anywhere and without warning. You can prepare for emergencies such as hurricanes, earthquakes or tsunamis but you can't always predict when they will happen.
With Hazard Management Cayman islands and the Blackberry AtHoc app on your device, when you hear the alert or see the notification, you will know to take action. Day or night, it's always by your side.
The National Emergency Notification System issues the alerts you need on major national incidents which could include: hurricanes, earthquake, tsunami, large fires, airport incidents, chemical incidents.