Why Emergency Notification Is Not Enough
Campuses not only need to inform those who could be impacted, but also engage them, manage the situation, and share intelligence with first responders. Even better, what if they could prevent the incident from happening in the first place?
Traditional emergency mass notification systems for schools and organizations are designed to send fast and reliable alerts in crisis situations to mitigate risk. Unfortunately, simply notifying people is not always enough. Organizations not only need to inform those who could be impacted, but also engage them, manage the situation, and share intelligence with first responders. Even better, what if an organization could prevent the incident from happening in the first place?
Leveraging Modern Technologies and AI
Organizations need to think more broadly about public safety by leveraging new technologies and artificial intelligence (AI) to not only send emergency alerts, but possibly prevent dangerous situations. Take the example of an active shooter — AI-powered recognition software can enable campus mass notifications to be sent as soon as a gun is visible and inform the community before a shot is even fired. It identifies firearms quickly and relays images to administrators to verify the threat. Once validated, they can inform all relevant stakeholders by initiating pre-defined safety protocols.
Multi-Channel Emergency Communications
Organizations and institutions should look at the way they send messages and how to best engage with their constituents. People use a wide variety of communication channels, so any notification about a potentially dangerous threat should be broadly distributed in order to reach everyone.
Notifications should be sent through SMS text messages, emails, social media, voice calls, etc. Some organizations have regrettably chosen to use an app-only approach, which fails in ensuring the whole community is reached. Estimates suggest only 7% actually download emergency notification apps and only 10% of those users will enable location services. That means you can only reach 7% of your audience in an emergency situation. Mobile apps alone can hardly qualify as safety solutions if they cover less than 10% of your audience.
Reaching Your Stakeholders
Today’s technology can play a significant role in prevention, notification, engagement, and management of critical events. Organizations and institutions should embrace these technologies to not only alert communities, but engage potential victims, manage dangerous events, and prevent the incidents from taking place altogether.
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Campus Safety magazine is another great resource for public safety, security and emergency management professionals. It covers all aspects of campus safety, including access control, video surveillance, mass notification and security staff practices. Whether you work in K-12, higher ed, a hospital or corporation, Campus Safety magazine is here to help you do your job better!