Mass notification system familiarity is critical

People_-Business--woman-speaking-to-an-audienceA great deal of blogs on this site focus around making the end user familiar with the use of and the outreach capabilities of your CodeRED or SmartNotice mass notification system.  Our company puts a great deal of effort into teaching our clients how to get the most out of their mass notification system and how to make it work effectively for them.

We offer as many live Web training sessions as you wish to partake in and I hope, by now, every client knows our support team is available 24/7 to assist you with your use of the system, to answer any questions and provide guidance at any time. A client who has undergone initial system training and routinely tests and uses the system will be able to expertly perform their job of notifying the public with the utmost confidence. That is our ultimate goal.

I recently read a news story with a headline that insinuated the mass notification system failed, yet it was more of a case of non-familiarity with the capabilities of the system on the part of the end user. The system performed as it was intended for this particular launch. The unfortunate part of this incident was not using the system to its fullest capacity in order to reach as many people as possible.

Needless to say, we will be looking for ways in which we can enhance the knowledge of our system users. For starters we will increase the amount of informational blogs, increase training and system familiarity outreach efforts to our clients through our newsletters and provide additional monthly scheduled webinars.  At the same time, we urge clients to be proactive and request additional system trainings to be familiar and comfortable with the system.

CodeRED and SmartNotice mass notification systems provide multiple delivery modes for each end user to take advantage of when delivering an important emergency message. The biggest mistake you can make while launching a notification is to select only one delivery mode. Each mode of delivery has an average expected percentage connection rate, which varies depending on the mode. The more delivery paths you launch your message to, the higher the overall connection rate will be, resulting in saving more lives. For most clients, it can be as easy as providing more in-house training and having a comprehensive emergency notification plan in place for your end users to follow when using your mass notification system.  We can help you with both of these efforts.

Another major part of the success of a mass notification system is the data available to make these notifications. There are multiple data layers a client can use to ensure the contact information in your system is as good as you can possibly make it. In addition to our nationally compiled database and the Web portal provided to capture voluntary citizen opt-in information, clients can add any other data sources they have access to such as E-911 or public utility data. A robust data system significantly increases the effectiveness of your mass notification system as well as the success for that much desired high delivery connection rate.

Remember, use every mode of delivery available, including phone calls, text messages, CodeRED Mobile Alert app, social media, IPAWS etc., and make it a point to understand what data you have access to. Take a moment to learn more about how you can add additional layers of data to your system by working hand in hand with your dedicated support team. You can contact your sales representative, support team or contact me personally for any assistance you may need.

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Don Hall is ECN’s Director of Government Relations and is a regular contributor on our blog. Hall’s public safety career experience includes 20 years as an Emergency Manager in Calvert County, Md., Jacksonville, FL and Washington, D.C. He also spent 10 years in law enforcement and 911 emergency communications and has 42 years of active duty experience in the Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service in Maryland. He has managed and directed more than 30 Presidential Disaster Declarations during his emergency management career and received numerous public safety- related awards and citations.