By Andrea Lebron - May 8, 2019
It's quite understandable that different state and local governments and federal agencies should have different requirements for their emergency messaging systems. However, when government safety officials evaluate emergency messaging solutions, there are five essential factors they should always consider.
Emergency messaging systems play an important role in public safety, but they can do much more than warn citizens of impending dangers. With the right public emergency messaging system in place, state and local government safety officials can enhance emergency management, improve how information is shared with response agencies, and reach out to individuals most in need of help.
State and local governments and federal agencies will have unique requirements for their emergency messaging systems due to their unique threats. Nonetheless, there are 5 basic factors emergency messaging systems should have to warn as many people as possible in the shortest amount of time, to coordinate emergency responses with maximum efficiency, and to recover from an emergency as quickly as possible.
Ease of use is crucial because, although emergency alerts can be composed with a calm head prior to an emergency, attempting to use an emergency messaging system in the midst of a stressful incident can lead to mistakes being made and miscommunications. Ideally, the selected emergency messaging system should support templates that can be prepared in advance.
An emergency messaging system with list segmentation enable state and local government safety officials to create groups of citizens according to their location, role of other attribute. By being able to send emergency messages to those for whom the message is relevant, list segmentation helps prevent alert fatigue and ensures the right messages are received by the right people at the right time.
Being able to geo-target populations as an emergency develops can assist with efficient emergency management - for example when it is necessary to stage an ordered evacuation by geographical location to avoid congestion. A geo targeting capability can also be of benefit as an emergency passes and a structured disaster recovery plan is activated.
During an emergency, collaborating with different teams and different agencies is essential to ensure the right resources are in the right place at the right time. The benefit of an emergency messaging system with internal messaging is that it can be used during non-emergency incidents to enhance cooperation between departments and productivity.
Switching to a different emergency messaging system and integrating it with existing systems needs to be easy to minimize disruption. When evaluating emergency messaging systems, it can be important to know which existing systems they work with - for example, if the emergency system integrates with an HR database, it will ensure contact information is always current.
If you would like to know more about all 7 essentials for emergency messaging systems, you are invited to download our free eBook “Essential Elements of Emergency Messaging” which expands on the points raised above.
Andrea is Rave's Director of Digital Marketing, a master brainstormer and avid coffee drinker. Andrea joined Rave in August 2017, after 10 years of proposal and corporate marketing at an environmental engineering firm. You'll find her working with her amazing team in writing and producing blogs like this one, improving your journey to and through our website, and serving you up the best email content. When she's not in front of a keyboard, she's chasing after her three daughters or indulging in her husband's latest recipe. Andrea has a Bachelor's degree in Marketing/Management from Northeastern University and an MBA from Curry College.
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