Emergency Text Alert System
An emergency text alert system is a mass notification platform that uses SMS text messaging as its primary communication channel to warn people to the risk of danger. The highest profile SMS alert system in use in the country is the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) that can be used by public safety officials to quickly and effectively warn the public about serious emergencies. The same system is used to broadcast presidential alerts.
The reason public safety officials choose to use an SMS-based emergency text alert system is because SMS text messaging is the most reliable and most popular form of electronic communication today. Message recipients only have to hear the ringtone of an incoming message in order to reach for their mobile devices to see who is trying to contact them, and consequently 95% of all text messages are opened and read within three minutes of delivery.
The Immediacy of an SMS Alert System
The effectiveness of a text messaging system explains why so many retailers use SMS messaging as part of their marketing strategies. Thousands of brands use an SMS messaging system to expand their reach, promote special offers, and engage with customers; and one of the key advantages of SMS marketing - immediacy - is what makes SMS emergency alerts so effective. Recipients hear alerts coming in on their mobile devices, read them, and act on them.
Getting the right message to the right people at the right time is crucial in an emergency. Those in immediate danger need to be alerted to the nature of the threat as quickly as possible; while it is also important not to create unnecessary evacuation bottlenecks - or unnecessary panic - by alerting more people than necessary to a threat. For this reason, organizations looking to implement an emergency text alert system are advised to use advanced text alert software.
How Advanced Text Alert Software Works
Advanced text alert software is supplied on a software-as-a-service platform which most commonly integrated with an existing personnel database for ease of population. Alternatively, personnel can join the emergency text alert system by using a text-based “Opt-In/Opt-Out” facility similar to how brands run SMS marketing campaigns (for example, text “join” to 123456 to opt in, and “stop” to 123456 to opt out). Personnel can then be sorted onto groups according to their role, location, or other attribute.
When an emergency occurs, the system administrator logs into the platform, and either writes a warning message or selects a pre-composed alert template. The administrator then selects which groups the message should be sent to (or selects “All”) and the channel(s) of communication, and clicks send. Due to the immediacy of emergency SMS messages, the selected personnel should receive the message within minutes – warning them to the risk of danger and potentially saving lives.
The Rave Alert Emergency Text Messaging System
The Rave Alert emergency text messaging system is an advanced SMS messaging system that also communicates emergency notifications via voice broadcasts, email, RSS, CAP, Alertus, and social media to maximize its effectiveness. Despite being an advanced SMS alert system that can be operated from any Internet-connected device, Rave Alert has been designed to be easy to use and operate. Most organizations implementing our SMS emergency notification system are up and running within days.
One of the advantages of the Rave Alert system is that, when an organization sets up an account with Rave Mobile Safety, we create a branded web portal for the community, business, school or other organization. Personnel can access the web portal in order to add further details about themselves – such as land line numbers, email addresses, and special needs - while personnel for whom English is not their first language can also select which language they would prefer to receive alerts in.
Furthermore, our SMS emergency notification system automatically synchronizes data across systems to minimize the management overhead, supports role-based access, and provides organizations with unlimited internal communications. Rave Alert is a FEMA Certified IPAWS Alert Origination Service Provider - so personnel receive public safety notifications automatically - and our platform has been SAFETY Act certified by the Department of Homeland Security.
Additional Features of the Rave Alert SMS Alerting System
Two additional features of the Rave Alert SMS alerting system can make the difference between a system being effective or failing to notify the right people at the right time. The first is a Command and Control Center through which system administrators can see which SMS emergency alerts have been opened and which haven´t. With this information, the system administrator can attempt to contact personnel who have not opened their SMS emergency alert to ensure their wellbeing.
The second feature is a geo-poll capability that gives administrators the option of sending a question to a selection of personnel (by role, location, or other attribute) - i.e. to check on the wellbeing of employees who have not been accounted for after an office evacuation. The question should be accompanied by a selection of answers recipients can reply to with just one tap of their smartphone screen - for example:
Q: Are you alright?
A2: I'm trapped inside the building
A3: I need medical help
The answers can eliminate previously non-accounted-for personnel from search and rescue missions and inform emergency managers where to direct emergency responses. This feature can make emergency responses more effective; and, due to the option to conduct two-way communication by text, can improve situational awareness in situations where voice communication would be inappropriate - i.e. during an active shooter incident.
Hospital Emergency Text Message System
An advanced emergency text message system should be part of every organization's Emergency Preparedness Plan; but it can be particularly viable solution in hospitals and other medical facilities, where healthcare professionals can experience “alert fatigue” due to the number of alerts activated by healthcare technology. The consequence of alert fatigue is that healthcare professionals can become desensitized to safety alerts and fail to act on them.
Although the sound of an incoming text message may not attract the attention of an individual nurse or medical aide, the Rave Alert SMS emergency notification system can be integrated with digital signage, so that when dozens of mobile devices are simultaneously receiving incoming text messages at the same time as the organization´s digital signage come alight, it is a clear indication of an event out of the ordinary and one that requires action.
The “Opt-On/Opt-Out” facility mentioned above adds to the effectiveness of a hospital emergency text message system. Visiting consultants, agency personnel, and sub-contractors - and all hospital visitors - can opt into the hospital emergency text message system while they are working at or visiting the hospital and either set an expiry date to receive alerts (either via the web portal or by using a selected keyword when they opt in), or opt out of the system when they leave.
Using Rave Alert for Non-Emergency Situations
Rave Alert can also be used to share information with personnel who will find the information of value. In communities, businesses and schools, Rave Alert could be used to (say) advise residents of road closures, advise employees of vacancies, or advise students of extra-curricular activities. The geo-poll feature can be used to solicit residents´ opinions on local issues, notify employees of overtime opportunities, or prepare students for exams remotely.
Because Rave Alert supports the unlimited segmentation of databases into groups and sub-groups a host of opportunities exists to enhance internal communications and encourage engagement. The grouping of contacts can be performed at administrator level or by personnel themselves via the branded web portal. It is also possible to opt into groups by texting specially-assigned keywords to the Rave Alert short code number.
Segmenting a database into groups and sub-groups ensures personnel only receive non-emergency messages that are of interest to them. Individuals can belong to multiple groups simultaneously or simply remain in the general pool if they have no desire to receive targeted non-emergency messages. This option prevents the scenario in which personnel opt out of the emergency text alert system due to receiving too many non-emergency messages that are of no relevance to them.
Find Out More about our Emergency Text Alert System
Not only is the process for sending emergency text alerts straightforward, there are many ways in which an emergency text alert system can enhance communications in communities, businesses, schools and other organizations. As the requirements for each client differs, we invite potential system administrators to contact us and request a demonstration of the Rave Alert platform in action.
After discussing your motives for implementing an emergency text alert system, our team of technical experts will tailor the demonstration for your specific requirements. The demonstration will enable us to highlight the relevant features of Rave Alert and branded web portal, and for you – and others involved in the decision-making process – to ask questions based on what you have seen.
To find out more about Rave Alert – and to schedule a demonstration for a time that is convenient – do not hesitate to contact us today. You never know when you may next need a fast and reliable system of mass communication to warn others of the risk of danger, and an emergency text alert system from Rave Mobile Safety will ensure the right personnel receive the right warning messages in the shortest time possible.