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 evferyone 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.