It’s not exactly a comfortable topic right now, but with certain recent events, discussing lockdown procedures and evacuation notifications is important. We’ll say this straight up: we provide mass notification in Chicago. We don’t want to use tragedy to sell anything, so we’ll talk about the importance of mass notification, whether it’s with us or another installer. We want you to know what it is and to make your own judgment about whether it would help you. So first up: what is mass notification?
Communication During Emergencies
Mass notification is a system that can address a large group of people all at once. The most traditional form is a PA system. Yet with digital technologies, getting hold of hundreds or thousands of people at once can also be done in a different way. Think of how Amber Alerts are spread, by sending out notifications to all digital devices in an area. It’s a little like that, but the list is more specific.
An emergency procedure may be a response to a fire, where you need an evacuation. Or it may be an armed individual, where a lockdown procedure may be more appropriate. When implementing this, you need to get the word out fast. You can build mass notification lists and pre-write messages for certain emergencies. This means you won’t get stuck in the moment trying to remember what you should say. You can simply implement mass notification as part of the procedure you’ve already decided upon.
Control During Emergencies
When an event happens, you push the message out to the list of devices that the event concerns. This way, workers in a building or staff on a campus can be notified. This gives you more complete coverage than a PA system alone, although a PA system can be implemented within a mass notification plan.
As details shift, you can advise about changes. You don’t just have to stick to pre-written script. You can also send out messages to all or part of the list. You can also hand your system off to emergency personnel, whether it’s a fire or police department. This allows them greater communication and control of the event.
Safety After Emergencies
You can also use mass notification for check-ins after the event, as an easy and organized way of coordinating and making sure everyone is safe. A lot of things go haywire during an emergency. Communication is often one of the first things to become chaotic. Mass notification helps you retain control, which in many cases can aid in safety, security, and informed response.