With the rising number of active shooting incidents in the United States, overcoming barriers to timely action has become a priority. Emergencies like these can occur anytime but with the proper coordination and information dissemination, timely action can be implemented. With technology, integrated emergency notification systems have been developed that offer a solution to schools, businesses, hospitals, and other private and public entities.
At the core of these solutions are the emergency mass notification systems that can disseminate the information among all members of the community. These systems typically involve a software, such as a program or app, that generates notices about incidents that are occurring within the perimeter of the campus or building location. It could also be combined with other notification protocols.
The latest Campus Survey in 2017 said that interest among emergency responders in buying new systems have increased over the years. In terms of the most popular emergency notification systems utilized in educational and healthcare facilities, the ranking items include emails and text alerts. The use of mobile apps and text-based systems for emergency notification outrank other methods. Its usage rates among K12 schools started out at 11 percent in 2014 before increasing to 30 percent at current rates.
However, the survey results also show a decrease in some categories, including bullhorns and phone trees. The authority to issue notifications to members of the school or healthcare community has also been changing. Those who work in emergency response or safety teams have been given more responsibility in dispatching notifications in most recent years.
Choosing A Notification System
The active shooting incidents in schools and other public spaces ushered in an urgent interest in finding the best solution in notifying the community. Solutions presented by providers such as singlewire software typically incorporate features that work well with specific communities. Response time is at the top of the list of crucial features. Another is the system’s compliance with the requirements set in the updated Higher Education Opportunity Act. Learning institutions are required to report their emergency response plans in their yearly reports, according to the statute.
Other features have also been suggested to guide those who are looking for a solution for their own communities. Coverage of the emergency notification system is also an important factor. The system should be able to take into consideration individual access to mobile phones and other devices. What happens when the device is powered off? How can the individual receive the notification in the quickest time possible? The system should also seamlessly interface with the current notification protocol implemented by the school or healthcare facility.
With the alarming rise in active shooter incidents in schools and other public spaces, communities are now realizing the importance of taking a proactive stance. In the past, online notification systems have been employed as a way to quickly and efficiently spread emergency warnings. However, combining these solutions with other means could strengthen or bolster the effort to protect those living, working, or studying within a certain location.