The Best Mass Emergency Notification System
A Mass Emergency Notification System is a communication system that alerts people to a dangerous situation. The system includes software and hardware and uses multiple communication channels to provide the information necessary to facilitate an appropriate response and action to a situation that could be life-threatening. Though mass notification systems were created for time-sensitive emergencies, they can also be used to provide general information that can help manage large organizations.
The best notification systems are easy to use and broadcast timely alerts to the right set of people depending on the emergency.
This article reviews mass notification systems. It will help you make the right choice.
Types of Mass Notification Systems
If you search on Google for “emergency mass notification systems,” you will find millions of results. It can be challenging to select the right solution. There are government emergency alerts, local public address systems, Email and text notifications, fire alarms, and public display signs.
Applications for Mass Notification
We should always consider the application before selecting the mass notification solution. For example, the FCC provides Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA), a significant part of America’s emergency preparedness, to warn the populace of dangerous weather, missing children, and other critical situations. The alerts are sent to compatible cell phones and other mobile devices.
Public Safety applications include an active shooter, severe weather alerts, a building lockdown, or the need to evacuate the building because of fire. There are campus paging systems used in schools, but sometimes we need to communicate with people using their smartphones or Email.
Features of Mass Notifications to Consider
It is essential to understand that a text or Email may not reach all people. It is crucial to select a system that includes multiple communication channels that ensures that everyone gets the message. Here are some of the features to consider:
- Provides immediate message capability
- Easy setup to assure that the right people are reached in the appropriate situation
- Uses multiple formats and channels to reach all the people
- Automated notifications that make the system easy to use in an emergency
- Can reach everyone wherever they are
- Confirm responses and be able to escalate the distribution
- Monitor notifications in real-time
- Be resilient so that it can handle network outages, power failures, or other channel disruptions
Comparison of Emergency Notification Systems
There are many systems available that provide mass notifications. The best system depends on your specific requirements. For example, some systems only send text messages, while others include digital signs, audio paging, and intercom notification.
Text and Message Systems
Government agencies use Gov Delivery and eNotify to notify groups of people. They use email subscriptions to provide a communication channel for non-critical information. OneCall Now is another system that provides telephone, text, and email messages to groups of people. These systems don’t provide digital signage or live audio alerts that could be critical in emergencies where people don’t have smartphones.
Digital Signage Alerts
In some emergencies, people outdoors or at large gatherings can be alerted by digital signage. Large digital signage helps notify people of missing children or active shooter situations. For example, Everbridge and Rave can send messages to digital signs as well as text and email messages.
Alerts to Local Computers
There are some systems, such as IP-PACast, that provide push notifications to computers. It provides local on-premises notifications that help get the message to everyone.
Audio Paging Alerts
Some systems such as One Call Now, Everbridge, Iris, and Rave include pre-recorded audio alerts. Still, it may be essential to include live audio announcements to handle unplanned situations.
Multiple Channel and Device Notification System
One of the complete mass notification systems is IP-PACast. It includes many of the features listed above, which makes it one of the most flexible solutions available. It even includes a Mobile App that can trigger the IP-PACast system or make an enterprise page. It provides multiple channels that assure you reach everyone.
IP-PACast is a sophisticated software system that also integrates with Microsoft Teams. During an emergency, time is of the essence. If someone notices a situation unfolding that requires them to alert others, they can send out a message through Microsoft Teams.
Summary of Emergency Mass Notification Systems
There are several emergency notification systems on the market. Some provide limited communication channels and are designed for non-emergency applications. The systems that are designed for emergency notification provide robust communication methods and are suitable for contacting people no matter where they may be.
If you would like help selecting the right mass notification system, please contact us at 800-431-1658 in the USA, 914-944-3425, everywhere else, or use our contact form.