A mass emergency notification system is a method of communication through which system administrators can simultaneously warn multiple contacts of an emergency situation. The system can send warning messages through multiple channels to alert thousands of people to the risk of danger within seconds – potentially saving many lives.
There are multiple use cases for a mass emergency notification system. State and local authorities can use a community notification system to protect residents. Educational facilities can send early warnings to students and teachers of adverse on-campus events, and enterprises can enhance the safety of their employees by giving them timely warnings of an emergency.
How a Mass Emergency Notification System Works
A system administrator will work closely with Rave Mobile Safety technology experts to gain access to the Rave Alert mass notification platform from which emergency alerts can be sent from any Internet-connected device. Alert-receiving contacts are added depending on the type of user and intended purpose of the mass notification system:
In a state or local community, a branded opt-in portal enables residents and visitors to the area to create an end user account and then select their emergency notification preferences – such as the preferred type of alert notifications and delivery method. End users can enter up to three mobile phone numbers, three voice only numbers and three email addresses.
In colleges and universities, administrators can autoload contacts into the mass emergency notification system and give students and staff the option to opt-out. The opting-out process involves sending a “STOP” message by SMS text or logging into the campus portal to delete contact details from the Rave Alert profile.
In a corporate enterprise environment, the administrators implementing a mass emergency notification system can set their systems up to be either opt-in or opt-out, depending on their personal privacy policies. Tools also exist to autoload contact lists from HR or other employee databases.
Regardless of whether it’s a local community, a college campus or a corporate enterprise, the easiest and most effective way to add user contacts into a mass notification system is to leverage the Rave platform’s SMS text capability. All potential alert-receiving contacts can opt-in to receive emergency notifications by texting a keyword chosen by the system administrator to a short code number.
In cases where the end user chooses to opt-in and create an account, it’s important to encourage them to complete their profiles as comprehensively as possible. For instance, the end user can include all contact details (mobile phone numbers, email addresses, and social media accounts) to decrease the likelihood of missing an emergency notification when it is sent. Additionally, the end user can make note of any mobility issues, health conditions, or special needs in their account.
Segmenting an Emergency Alert Database
When an emergency situation occurs, it may not always be necessary to alert every contact in the emergency alert database. For example, if there is a fire in one neighborhood, it would not be necessary to alert the residents of every neighborhood. For this reason, a mass emergency notification system can be segmented into an unlimited number of groups.
Contacts can be placed into multiple groups depending on their (for example) location, role, or any special needs. This ensures only the contacts for whom the alert is relevant receives a notification and prevents the scenario in which every contact receives every message – potentially resulting in people opting out of the mass emergency notification system due to receiving too many irrelevant notifications.
Mechanisms exist to ensure contacts in multiple groups only receive one notification per communication channel, and the platform also monitors how many of each target contact group has received and read their notifications so that alternative attempts at contacting them can be made to ensure their safety.
The Benefits of a System for Mass Emergency Notifications
In addition to providing a platform through which administrators can quickly and simultaneously alert contacts to the risk of danger, a system for mass emergency notifications can also keep contacts informed throughout an emergency situation, and advise them when the danger has passed. However, a system for mass emergency notifications does not only have to be used for emergencies.
In communities, the platform could be used to seek help for people in need of non-emergency medical aid. Administrators could send an alert to contacts in their database with medical training to advise them of who and where the person in need is. The platform could also be used to advise residents of community events or road closures.
Higher education schools can take advantage of a system for mass emergency notifications to advise parents of school closures due to extreme weather, parent meetings, fundraisers, school activities and other news. Students can be sent library alerts, details of vaccination days, or be kept up to date with how the college football team is performing.
In businesses, a system for mass emergency notifications not only enhances an employer´s duty of care posture but can minimize the commercial impact of an emergency. The platform can also be used to communicate IT alerts, warn staff of known maintenance issues, and send messages with auditable proof they have been received.
Prepare for an Emergency before it Happens
Rave Mobile Safety´s mass emergency notification system is the leading critical communication and data platform trusted to help save lives. Thousands of communities, schools and businesses rely on our platform to send the right message to the right people at the right time, as it “cuts through the noise” to deliver important messages to your contacts wherever they are, whatever they are doing.
If you are a safety officer who would like to prepare better and communicate more effectively before, during and after an emergency, please do not hesitate to contact us and request a no-obligation demo of our mass emergency notification system in action. Alternatively, contact our Customer Support team with any questions you have about how best to keep safe the people you have a duty of care to protect.