Public Safety Alerts

What Is a Public Safety Alert?

A public safety alert is a cautionary signal from the state to the general public about potential danger. These alerts are issued when a public safety concern might result in severe or fatal harm without prompt action. Typically, a public safety alert is broadcasted to raise the degree of protection in hazardous situations, and interested parties must take action within a reasonable timeframe.

The government leverages commercial or private infrastructure designed to rapidly or continuously disseminate alerts to the public. The simplest of these systems were sirens that would ring in the event of danger and alert the public to prepare for any risky scenario. As technology evolved, those sirens were replaced with notifications disseminated electronically via social media, mobile devices, and other means.

What Is a Public Alert System?

A public alert system distributes public safety alerts to the general public. It can be a tool, software, or any social or public platform. Its main goal is to give the target population or demographic enough information in an easy-to-understand way such that they can make the right plans to lessen or avoid the danger.

Major Public Alert Systems

Wireless Emergency Alerts

Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEAs) are transmitted to wireless devices based on location and relevance. These warnings are issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Examples of wireless emergency alerts:

  • Amber Alerts (for missing children)
  • Silver Alerts (for missing adults)

Emergency Alert Systems

Local and national Emergency Alert System (EAS) alerts are broadcast on television and radio. These alerts are dispatched by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Weather Service (NWS). The NWS uses EASs to warn the public about severe weather and natural disasters on a local and state level.

Opt-In Alert Systems

The opt-in alert systems vary only by location, but the reasons people are warned are the same. For example, opt-in alerts include warnings about extreme weather, natural disasters, road closures, missing persons, or evacuations. Local agencies also post opt-in alert systems, but unlike WEAs and EAS, these alerts require self-registration or signup.

What is a Public Safety Alert on the iPhone?

iPhone users can receive alerts from the government about public safety. These messages are turned on by default, but users can turn them off if they choose. Local governments are responsible for the content and frequency of alerts.

How to Choose an Emergency Notification System

The public safety management team must ensure everyone has the most up-to-date information during an emergency. Depending on an emergency’s level of urgency and potential danger, ENSs must provide information quickly.

Here are some essential criteria to consider when choosing an ENS for your organization.

Speed and System Capacity

It is critical to select an ENS for your organization that has a high level of intelligence and a high percentage of effective emergency notifications transmitted. In addition, ensure that the ENS can handle an unlimited number of contacts and messages and a constant stream of risk updates.

Public Contact Management

Importing and maintaining a vast volume of public contact information is an essential feature of smart ENS. Moreover, a cutting-edge ENS needs online mapping.

Broadcast Messaging Option

In addition to calls and emails, the ENS should provide multiple message transmission and reception methods. Additionally, it must be capable of distributing information and updates quickly through social media or any other available channel.


Messages that are successfully sent may not reach their intended destination, resulting in safety breaches. Organizations can utilize metrics from notifications to assess an ENS. Likewise, users should be able to resend alerts to people who failed to receive the first ones. The ENS system must provide real-time information.

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

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Tips to Make Your Enterprise Resilient with Critical Event Management
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Nine Tips to Prepare for Every Critical Event
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Critical Event Management Guide to Emergency Planning
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Checklist for Critical Event and Emergency Management Planning
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