Mass Communication Systems
May 23, 2018 - Today we have a multitude of options for mass communications, but often we don't have a clue about how to decide on one that's best for our individual needs. This issue looks at the types of capabilities you need in a system, how you can use these systems to solve other corporate problems, the importance of testing and maintaining such systems, and on what criteria to evaluate potential vendors.
Emergency mass notification services (EMNS) don't tend to garner a lot of attention -- except when man-made events or natural disasters, such as severe weather, earthquakes, floods, cybersecurity breaches, terrorist or active shooter incidents occur and cause interruptions in critical business activities. Gartner estimates that the unplanned downtime caused by these types of events can cost organizations as much as $5,600 per minute, which makes access to information and the guidance needed to restore operations and protect employees incredibly valuable.
Mass notification and emergency communications can be two different things. Increasingly those are two sides of the same system --- especially as facilities realize the benefits of both sending and receiving notifications from people who may be in a better position to actually see what is going on.
While the reality of threats like active shooter situations and natural disasters may seem far off, business continuity teams and company safety departments need to be prepared to deal with and respond to them. The use of mass notification systems has become a necessary tool in the kitbag of IT professionals, business continuity professionals and campus safety teams. When choosing an MNS system for your organization there are several factors to consider.
Making sure your occupants know what to do during emergencies requires foresight, diligent preparation and the right mix of technologies to communicate with everyone. One of the most important things to know about mass notification is that communicating widespread messages to the right building occupants takes serious preparation and an ability to anticipate any number of emergencies and events that require action.
We think it's worth taking a look at perhaps a different aspect of communication -- one we doubt many have bothered to consider. When people think of mass communication software, they often think of using the software to communicate during an emergency. Sure, that's a major feature of this type of software, but there are other uses for the technology in some interesting cases. We've outlined some of the biggest challenges mass communications software can address in various scenarios.
As an emergency situation unfolds it becomes critical for public safety managers to be able to send timely and accurate information to the people affected by the event. Getting the right message to the right people requires rapid action using accurate and up-to-date data and an easy-to-use system that is highly reliable and available 24/7/365. When evaluating mass notification vendors here are the top 10 points for every decision-maker to consider.
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