What is an emergency notification system?
An emergency notification system delivers fast, relevant alerts during an emergency or an ongoing crisis situation, to a targeted group of stakeholders. Emergency communication is carried out via phone, SMS, email and mobile app simultaneously.
Many organizations are surprised to know they can use emergency messaging systems not only in times of crisis, but also for routine communications, such as updates about meetings, events, payments and past-due notices.
How does an emergency notification system work?
In a crisis, you must have the ability to reach anyone who may be impacted – and in real-time. Phone chains and email are inefficient and can often be less effective. That’s because recipients may not pick up calls or open messages as frequently. In addition, each person may have a different preference for how they receive communications.
An emergency notification system allows you to create a message and deliver it to many devices and channels at once. This is important because in a widespread disaster, it’s possible some channels might be down or overloaded.
With a cloud-based emergency notification system, you can still send alerts from anywhere even if your servers or wireless carriers are experiencing outages.
Why use an emergency notification system?
Keeping people safe and ensuring business continuity are two of the key reasons organizations use emergency notification systems. What’s more, the same capabilities that are useful in an emergency – sending messages to a targeted group, for example – are also valuable for day-to-day updates.
In an emergency, a notification system will help you get the right information to the right people at the right time. Anyone impacted by a disaster will have the time and information they need to get out of the path of danger. At the same time, an emergency messaging system enables you to coordinate response teams so they can resolve issues faster, ensuring business continuity.
An emergency notification system can simplify routine communications, such as IT alerts. During a network outage or if a virus is detected, automated alerts are sent to all impacted, allowing you to keep information flowing.
Emergency notifications can also be used to manage staffing challenges, such as backfilling sick employees. They can also be used to keep people informed about prescription reminders, road closures, supply disruptions and more.
What are the benefits of using an emergency notification system?
An emergency messaging system enables you to protect your people, places and property. In any critical event, from a hurricane to an active shooter, you can communicate quickly and efficiently with your employees and stakeholders. You can also target messages to predefined groups, giving you complete control over who receives and responds to your alerts.
Another advantage of an emergency notification system is that it will help you build organizational resiliency. With preplanned scenarios, you can be ready to mobilize in minutes. You can set a regular testing schedule to ensure your readiness.
Organizations can also reduce the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) with a SaaS-based emergency notification system. There’s no need for expensive hardware, or the staff to maintain it. Since maintenance and upgrades are handled by your vendor, you’ll also save time and resources.
Important features of an emergency notification system
Given its vital role in a critical event, an emergency notification system must be easy to use and reliable. Your ability to communicate with stakeholders is dependent on speed and efficiency. Therefore, when evaluating notification systems, be sure to look for the following must-have features:
- The ability to deliver alerts to thousands of recipients, fast
- Support for multiple modalities, so you can send to multiple channels in different formats
- An emergency alert app for real-time, reliable communication
- Multilingual capabilities that enable you to reach recipients in their native language
- API integration with business systems like your company directory, so you can keep your contact database up to date
- Reporting and auditing capabilities, which allow you to know when and if messages were received
- Flexible enough to be put to use for a variety of communications, including customer notifications and reminders, routine staff alerts and recruitment
- Unlimited calling plans, so you don’t have to pay for every call
- Reliability, including redundant systems and back up support, so you can still send messages if your own network is down
OnSolve One Call Now: Versatile, Easy-to-Use Emergency Notification
Send notifications and enable recipients to respond. Two-way communication allows you to confirm receipt, assess safety, coordinate with others and gain a better understanding of what’s happening.
Reach more of your audience by delivering messages to preferred devices. Send emergency notifications via voice, SMS, mobile app push notifications and email to increase the opportunity of reaching your contacts while avoiding channels that have been comprised or are experiencing an outage.
It goes without saying, systems need to be easy to use when under strenuous situations. OnSolve was designed with the user in mind and to reduce the cognitive load when sending an alert during a crisis.
Targeting & Customization
Target only groups impacted by the critical event quickly and efficiently, without needlessly alerting those not affected. Customizing your message also allows you to send emergency notifications to individuals in their native language to avoid misunderstandings. For example, you can create a “Spanish Native Language” group and deliver an alert in Spanish to all native language speakers in your organization.
Reliability & Infrastructure
Emergencies are unpredictable, but your emergency notification system should not be. OnSolve has the infrastructure to support our customers at all times with multiple geographically dispersed data centers. Our 24/7 customer support is available to assist customers through an emergency, including sending alerts for them.