Being able to alert hundreds of people to an emergency, event, or situation in a workplace or educational facility has always been quite challenging. In the past, someone would have to run from room to room or department to department, share the message, and hope everyone was around to hear it.
However, technology is a wonderful thing. It has paved the way for multi-channel communication platforms known as mass notification systems to send messages to many people simultaneously. If you haven’t yet heard about such a system’s usefulness, now might be the time to find out.
What is a Mass Notification System?
A mass notification system, or an emergency notification system, is for alerting people to emergency events or pertinent information that they need to be aware of. As technology has improved, new features have been added to these systems to make them more flexible and suitable for a variety of different use cases.
The alerts can be written in advance and scheduled, triggered automatically, or sent out manually on-demand or in the event of emergency situations, including:
- Natural disasters, i.e., hurricanes and earthquakes
- Adverse weather events, such as snow and flooding
- Active shooters and threats
- Power outages
- Road closures
- Facility incidents
- Health notifications, such as COVID-19
You can also reach people in multiple ways, depending on what is going to be most suitable, such as:
How Does a Mass Notification System Work?
In any workplace or facility, management teams can compile staff member and student contact information into groups by department, location, or other data points. When the time comes to send out an alert, they can opt for an organization-wide alert or a targeted one. Mass notification systems can also be customized to suit your unique situation and urgency level.
Benefits of a Mass Notification System
Any workplace or educational institute can see the value in a mass notification system for various reasons. In an emergency, being able to inform everyone of what’s happening and what they should do can be of the utmost importance.
An employee notification system can also prove useful for local and regional notifications, such as a chemical spill to be aware of on a specific floor or a fire drill at a particular office. You can even use such a system to send messages to particular building occupants, ensuring that only those who need to see the message will receive it.
Many mass notification systems also offer two-way communication, which can be critical in emergencies where people may require assistance. They can respond to the alert with their location to receive help promptly.
Do I Need a Mass Notification System?
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recommends that workplaces have emergency response procedures in place, such as:
- Emergency and fire reporting methods
- Evacuation policies
- Route assignments in emergencies, such as floor plans, safe areas, and workplace maps
- Contact information for those in charge of creating the emergency plan
- Procedures for employees to undertake critical processes before evacuating
- Medical and rescue duties
Many of these procedures require a communication method, and a mass notification system can assist with amplifying those critical messages.
If your place of business or learning doesn’t have a sound plan in place for emergencies, there’s no better time than now to change that. A mass notification system for scheduled or immediate communication may be the answer. Click here to learn more.