While we never expect to find ourselves in an emergency situation, a crisis can strike anytime, anywhere. During an emergency or dangerous event, the most pivotal step an organization can make is to quickly inform and alert people in harm’s way. Whether it’s a business, a school, or any other type of organization, the ability to immediately send warnings and instructions during an emergency relies heavily on the tools at your disposal. But what are an effective means to notify security personnel and affected people of possible danger and other events?
Emergency Notification Systems
An emergency notification system, or mass notification system, is software that provides an automated means of contacting a group of people within an organization and distributing pertinent information and instruction during an emergency. In the case of an emergency or another critical event, an organization can determine the severity of the situation and then communicate with an impacted group of any size. Using a database of names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses, an emergency notification system can quickly deliver communications in real-time through SMS text messaging, email, and phone calls.
Who Needs an Emergency Notification System?
Emergency notification systems are quintessential for businesses, healthcare facilities, schools, and any other organization that requires a unified communication platform. Mass notification plans should include every employee, student, or staff member. Depending on where your organization’s facilities are located, threats will vary. The most common threats, however, can impact everyone. Emergency notification systems are highly flexible and can be used for more than just emergencies. Your business operations can benefit tremendously from a unified communication system. Organizations can send secure notifications and efficiently manage employee operations. Processes such as scheduling shifts and managing field technicians are streamlined across all channels.
Notifications can include:
- IT outages
- Natural disasters
- Security threats
- Hazardous materials events
- Weather-related information
- Suspicious person alert
- Employee scheduling
- Any activity or event that requires immediate notification
A mass notification system is an excellent tool for any instance where fast and efficient internal communications are required. By providing a means for the circulation of information, organizations can ensure no employee is missed.
Finding the Right Emergency Notification System for Your Organization
While evaluating emergency notification systems, it is crucial to ensure the system you choose completely meets your organization’s needs. There are many manufacturers offering systems designed for alerting, some systems designed for control and other systems designed to detect conditions. StaffAlerter, by PM Power Products, is one industry-trusted system that can be easily customized to send any type of notification and to trigger commands to a wide variety of internet-connected devices. Below are some key features to consider during your evaluation:
Detection. An emergency notification system should provide flexible, programmable inputs to
collect activity from almost any sensor, relay output, switch or alarm. In addition, the user
should direct control via the Web interface to take immediate action. The emergency
notification should be able to monitor:
- Direct input from panic buttons
- Gunshot detectors
- Input from phone systems and other alarms or reporting systems
- Severe weather monitoring
- Open doors
- Motion in specified areas
- IT equipment alarms
- Temperature and humidity monitoring
Alert. The emergency notification system you choose should provide immediate notification via SMS text, email or phone calls to any number of people or groups. You should be able to pre-record and send announcements, create text-to-speech messages on the fly via the Web interface, or call the system and create and send an ad hoc message with a single call, independent of web access. Additionally, the system should include PC/mobile device screen alerts, building-wide paging, premise audio/visual signals, door access control, remote program execution via email-control software, and the ability to activate other alarm systems and messaging via telephone systems.
Respond. The ideal emergency notification system should provide controllable relay
outputs to start and stop equipment, activate alarm systems, access control functions,
initiate audible and visual signals, reset equipment, control power and any other function
that can be controlled by a switch.
When a critical situation arises, it is important that your organization is prepared and able to let your affected staff know as quickly as possible. Your Ideacom Network telecom provider can help you identify your organization’s needs and choose the system that is right for you.