2 Reasons Why Your Mass Notification System Should Be CAP Compliant

According to the OASIS standard, “The Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) is a simple but general format for exchanging all-hazard emergency alerts and public warnings over all kinds of networks. CAP allows a consistent warning message to be disseminated simultaneously over many different warning systems, thus increasing warning effectiveness while simplifying the warning task…  CAP provides a template for effective warning messages based on best practices identified in academic research and real-world experience.”

Campus officials responsible for their institutions’ mass notification/emergency alert systems need to understand CAP and might want to consider adopting it for the following reasons:

1. Campuses may be able to choose to have their alerting or mass notification systems connect to the public side of the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) and CMAS in order to receive alert messages from local or national sources directly. To be able to do this, however, the systems must be able to receive messages in the CAP v1.2 format.

2. Even the institutions that don’t tie into CMAS and IPAWS might want to become CAP compliant because most campuses have multiple mass notification systems in place that are proprietary and might not work together. This can lead to a delay in the delivery of emergency messages. CAP, however, simplifies the notification process by using a common language or format that all systems (that are CAP compliant) can understand.


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About the Author

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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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