There are few things more important than communication—and few situations when that holds truer than during a crisis.
Effective communication can be the difference between success and failure when mitigating a disruptive incident. In extreme cases, it can even save lives. Mass notification systems play a pivotal role, allowing organizations to disseminate information about critical events rapidly.
More importantly, organizations can do this seamlessly and securely, keeping people, personnel, partners, and—in some instances—the public apprised of developing scenarios. Although they’re typically only able to send one-way text alerts, more advanced mass notification systems may feature two-way communication, rich media, and geo-tagging. Ultimately, however, these tools all serve the same purpose.
They ensure that, in the worst-case scenario, lines of contact remain active.
What Is a Mass Notification System?
Also known as emergency communication systems, mass notification systems are focused primarily on situational awareness. Capable of sending messages across multiple channels simultaneously, they’re designed to maximize outreach during critical events. Typically, mass notification systems are intended to remain operational even when other communication channels are out of commission.
A mass notification system may be used in a few different ways:
- Alerting employees and contractors of a severe weather event or active threat
- Notifying partners and stakeholders impacted by a data breach or other cyber incident
- Providing situational awareness to staff traveling through at-risk areas
- Sending live updates about service interruptions or outages
Alerting aside, core features of a mass notification system may include geo-tagging, two-way communication, integration with organizational infrastructure, targeted and templated alerts, and response tracking.
Mass Notification Systems vs Critical Event Management Platforms
Benefits of Mass Notification Systems
No plan can survive without effective outreach, which is precisely where a mass notification system comes in. Deploying an effective emergency alerting platform, therefore, benefits your organization in many ways:
- Visibility into the safety of employees
- Visibility into alerts and users at partnered organizations
- Centralized management to connect users, content, and policies
- Automated scenarios, response tracking, and reporting
- Unification and integration with systems such as those leveraged by emergency services
- Providing staff and stakeholders with a means of keeping in touch during emergencies
How to Choose a Mass Notification System
What Is Your Specific Use Case?
Do you need mass notifications solely to provide updates on service outages and disruptions, or do you need a tool to help keep your people safe from hazardous events? What specific regulatory and legislative requirements does your industry have around the transmission and storage of emergency alerts? Is your userbase primarily domestic, or do you have many international employees?
Your first step should be to list all the incidents your organization is likely to face in order of severity—everything from minor outages to life-threatening weather events.
Who Will Use the Solution?
An Intuitive Interface Is a Must
What Information Do You Need to Share?
What Is Your Budget?
Emergencies and business disruptions happen. It’s how you prepare and respond to them that determines their impact.
Our critical event management solutions combine a secure emergency notification system with incident response tools and capabilities—so you can quickly deploy your response teams and enable them to better prepare for, respond to, and recover from critical events faster.
Critical Event and Emergency Planning Resources