Annette Fowler

Emergency Status Messages

Est. Reading Time: 2 minutes

Many of our clients require an emergency status message option on their web site.  We’ve handled this in several different ways, depending on the client’s needs.

Emergency Message on Every Page of Site

An Ajax-based window (to limit pop-up blocking issues) appears on any page of the site that a person accesses when the alert is active—not just the home page.  This message is editable within the CMS system and can be removed via the CMS when the emergency is concluded.  The message is cookie-based so that it appears only once per session, as long as the content of the message is not changed by the site administrators during that time.  If the content does change, the message reappears for the visitor.

Emergency Message on Home Page Only

An active emergency status message causes all the content on the home page to shift down.  Activation of the message and content is controlled by a CMS data definition.

Complete Emergency Site

This client requested a “dark site” in Cascade that would replace the entire website in the case of an emergency.

  1. Created a simple site in Cascade with only top level navigation and a set number of pages (3-6 recommended), whose design mimics the main site’s design, but very simplified
  2. Published the site to Test environment
  3. Copied the published HTML pages to DVD and provided to client and Beacon hosting group
  4. Set the new site to not publish in the client Cascade, until needed
  5. If a non-facility related emergency occurs–The client publishes the emergency site to the webserver and directs their DNS to the new site
  6. If a facility-related emergency occurs–
    • If Cascade is not available but the webserver is– the client copies the static pages from DVD to an available webserver, updates the pages via HTML editor and redirects their DNS to the new webserver
    • If neither Cascade, nor the webserver is available—the client contacts Beacon via landline.  Beacon copies DVD to a Beacon webserver and updates HTML pages via editor.  The client moves DNS to new server IP address.

Emergency Box in Utility Navigation

In this case, we included an “Alert” link in the site’s utility navigation bar.  Upon mouse-over, a small drop-down menu appears with any current alerts.

There are many other options for this type of functionality.  Please let us know if we can assist you with your own emergency status messages!