Why It Is Wise to Adopt Multiple Mass Notification Systems

Relying on only one type of system will limit the reach of your emergency messages.

Why It Is Wise to Adopt Multiple Mass Notification Systems

One in four school, university and hospital protection professionals who participated in Campus Safety’s 2020 Emergency Notification Survey said their campus or organization only uses one type of alert system. Although it may be tempting to think that a single, robust mass notification solution will be sufficient, no one type of technology can reach everyone during an emergency.

For example, text alert systems are effective ways to reach on-campus and off-campus students, employees and parents who have signed up to receive emergency notifications on their mobile devices, but what about on-campus visitors who aren’t registered or students who have turned off their phones to take a test? Additionally, there can be delays in community members receiving text messages for a variety of reasons.

Loudspeaker announcements are instantaneous and can reach most people on campus, but what about the hearing impaired or people who are off-campus but still need to be notified? Digital signage emergency notifications also are instantaneous and can be read by most community members, but what about the sight impaired, as well as individuals who aren’t onsite?

These examples demonstrate that several mass notification systems should be deployed so that the weaknesses of one solution can be compensated for by other solutions. When adopting systems, be sure to account for visitors, the hearing and sight impaired, individuals who are both on campus and off campus, as well as members of the community who might not be able to understand English.

Read the Campus Safety 2020 Emergency Notification Survey Results

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About the Author

robin hattersley headshot

Robin has been covering the security and campus law enforcement industries since 1998 and is a specialist in school, university and hospital security, public safety and emergency management, as well as emerging technologies and systems integration. She joined CS in 2005 and has authored award-winning editorial on campus law enforcement and security funding, officer recruitment and retention, access control, IP video, network integration, event management, crime trends, the Clery Act, Title IX compliance, sexual assault, dating abuse, emergency communications, incident management software and more. Robin has been featured on national and local media outlets and was formerly associate editor for the trade publication Security Sales & Integration. She obtained her undergraduate degree in history from California State University, Long Beach.

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