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The Undeniable Value of Mass Notification

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Let’s be honest, we live in a dangerous world.  From school shootings to bomb threats to gang activities, violence is sadly very prevalent today.  Luckily, we have the public safety system as well as hospitals and other resources who will do anything and everything they can to help us if the need arises.  However, before they can help us, they need to be notified – immediately and accurately.  Notifying one police officer if there is a shooter in the local mall is not sufficient notification.

 

In today’s world, our police departments, fire departments, EMS departments, hospitals, educational institutions, large enterprises, and many others must have the means to reach people promptly when there is an emergency.  This involves having a wireless paging software system with complete two-way SMS texting, voice messaging, and fax messaging capabilities to virtually any device.

 

Identifying and Notifying with GIS

 

When a mass emergency occurs, there is no time for pulling the map out of the desk drawer to find the location of the emergency.  With a mass notification system that has GIS mapping technology, the user can create and interact with a variety of maps and data sources. A GIS module featuring an easy-to-use, fully integrated solution based on geography is vital in an emergency.  First, it must be able to extract data and match it with correlating phone numbers to send voice or text messages to the public.  Using this solution enables the user to zero in on specific locations on the map whether by zip code, a specific point on the map, or even a radius.  Immediately, the group to notify has been identified and a call list is automatically generated. 

 

Voluntarily Registering via Sign-Up Module

 

A Sign-Up Module whereby organizations allow citizens to self-register for emergency alerts is another excellent feature of a mass notification system.  The alerts can be sent to cell phones, pagers, VoIP numbers, and unlisted numbers.  Using the organization’s website, citizens can connect their information to an address in the county or the city’s GIS system. The Sign-up Module is also capable of gathering demographic data.  This means messages can be sent first to people who need more time to react.  For example, handicapped individuals, senior citizens, and even teachers may very likely need more time to escape an emergency situation. Additionally, an organization can opt to have informational topics that citizens can select for timely updates regarding the situation. 

 

Alert Notifications

 

A dependable mass notification system must have a simplified, certified Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) citizen notification module to issue critical public alerts and warnings. 

The types of alerts available should include:

 

  • Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) for broadcasting to cell phones
  • National Weather Service (NWEM) alerts for broadcasting non-weather related emergency alerts to the weather radio network
  •  Information exchange using COG to COG with other collaborative operating groups
  • Public feeds

 

There is no room for error when an emergency alert needs to be broadcasted.  A reliable mass notification system will ensure there are no mistakes.

 

Be Prepared

 

Many people still have the “it won’t happen to me” beliefs.  It is time to step out of that mentality and be prepared in case it does happen to you.  With a mass notification system, you can record a message, pre-record a message, type in a message for automatic text to speech conversion, or use a pre-defined template.  The text messages will be sent directly from your system to a person’s cell phone, pager, or email and no special connections are required.  The text message will then be sent to all the phone numbers and text devices identified in the call list.  Progress status and complete reports are also available.  Why is this important?  If you are a college professor and an armed man walks into your classroom, you need the capability to press one button to alert everyone that there is a shooter on campus.  From the dean, to the remaining students, everyone needs to be notified.  By creating a pre-recorded message and simply pressing send, you quite possibly just saved hundreds, if not thousands, of lives. 

 

When the Message HAS to Get There

 

HipLink's Emergency Mass Notification System provides every single one of the applications and features in this article. You have the choice of using a fully hosted system in HipLink’s datacenter, a fully deployed system at your location, or HipLink’s hybrid solution.  No matter which you choose, you are guaranteeing a safer environment for everyone in the event of an emergency.  With over 20 years’ experience in providing emergency paging, emergency text messaging software, and industry-leading mass notification, HipLink is more than capable of arming you with the emergency mass notification system you need.  For more information, contact us at 1-800-524-7503. 

 

 

 

 

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Guest Friday, 14 December 2018