Rapid Messaging to Internal and External Response Teams
If your organization experiences a serious emergency, being able to contact first responders is a must. First responders are typically thought of as fire and paramedics. But your on-site safety teams, people trained in first aid, and company leaders can all provide initial assistance and direction but having outside help. Fast action can help get incidents resolved quickly and with the expertise needed to secure successful outcomes.
For many organizations, asking for assistance from people within a facility and those outside it are two different processes. This often means that from the beginning there are communication challenges that need to be overcome. Fast, consistent messaging minimizes confusion and gets people the help they need to stay safe.
This is where mass notification systems help with emergency situations. With the single push of a button, organizations can alert all their internal response team as well as emergency services and local law enforcement. Implementing mass notification as a single channel communication system enhances the speed and reach of your emergency messages.
Messages can be delivered using a variety of different methods and devices, including SMS text messages, push notifications, emails, phone calls, desktop alerts, digital signage, IP speakers, and security radios.
One-touch Activation of Preconfigured Messages
Consider this scenario: A violent intruder enters your building. Someone within your organization notices there is an issue and presses a panic button. The panic button serves as a trigger connected to a mass notification system that will send out preconfigured text and audio alerts internally and externally.
Outgoing notifications can be grouped to reach a select group of personnel. Following the above example, an intruder notification could be zoned to only be delivered to internal security offices. This helps avoid causing panic within buildings and helps security teams respond as quickly as possible.
While the initial panic button trigger sends notifications to personnel on-site, additional automated messages could simultaneously be sent to the local police department. External notifications can also be delivered in a few different ways, including pre-recorded audio or text-to-speech messages that are sent as a phone call to your local police department’s non-emergency line. Emails can be sent to a designated address that is reserved only for emergency communications. Desktop notifications can be sent to computers at the police department that are connected with your organization’s mass notification system. Depending on the application, audio alerts can be sent directly to police radios, which can be helpful if local patrol cars are in the area, making response times even faster.
Personal and Automated Follow-up Notifications
Within your facilities, security teams should still call 911 to alert dispatchers of an incident. While mass notification systems can offer immediate communications to law enforcement, speaking with a dispatcher can provide much-needed context and ensure that outside help is on the way. Using additional security tools like surveillance cameras, security personnel can gain real-time insights as an event unfolds. Critical information can be relayed to the police to better coordinate a response. Links to security camera feeds can be included in mass notifications.
A mass notification system can then be used to send follow-up messages that provide updates on how the situation is progressing and to check in on people to see if they are safe or if they need assistance. Once security teams and local police have resolved the incident, mass notifications can be used to give the “all clear” and help normal operations resume.
Integrate Mass Notification into Systems and Processes
The right mass notification software, programmed accordingly, enables organizations to prepare for any kind of emergency. Quickly reach the right people with the right message to ensure successful outcomes. There are even Incident Management tools that give organization leaders information necessary to actively manage emergency events from start to finish, Resources provided by notification solutions can including message templates, safety checklist, and analytic; all of which will need to be added to other safety and security practices.
Every organization is different, so how you prepare for an emergency and execute your response plan is going to be unique. Creating an effective plan requires input from multiple parties including local law enforcement to build the most comprehensive strategy to keep people safe.
If you’re interested in learning more, our valued partner Singlewire has prepared an on-demand demo to see how a mass notification solution can help you reach more people more quickly during a crisis.