Integrating your emergency notifications with any and every communication channel possible is paramount. Digital signage is a common technology found on college and corporate campuses, and should be utilized during emergencies to not only be sure those already registered to receive text messages and emails are informed, but to also inform all visitors and those who are not registered.
Today, the ways to notify your people are practically endless. They are registered to receive text messages and/or emails. And, whether implemented or not, they have the capability of receiving those same notifications as they are sitting in front of a computer that displays an emergency message, while walking down a hall hearing it via a PA system, or by seeing a digital sign broadcasting information. As a result, your people have multiple ways of staying informed about what is going on and can remain off property if directed.
But what about your visitors and/or those not registered to receive alerts?
By Marc Burdiss CEM, MEP, M.Ed, Northern Arizona University
When was the last time you exercised your mass notification system? Six months ago? A year? If you are like most, you can point to the day and time, and maybe even produce a brief After Action Report (AAR) from the event and confidently check that box completed. That’s great, but probably not enough, and you are probably not using all the exercise approaches you should be trying. Let me explain...
This is really more than automating just emergency notifications. It is about thinking holistically about what happens when there is an incident and what communications actions occur during that first and most important minute. Notifications are certainly one type of communications action, however so are mobilizing resources and collaborating with your emergency response team. It is about automating a sequence of actions.
It’s a fact of life in 2017 that cyber threats are everywhere. We know that we need to set strong passwords on our email, encrypt connections to our banking, healthcare, wifi, and even lockdown our social media accounts.
So, why should your emergency notification system (ENS) be any different?
A breach of your email or social media could be embarrassing.
A breach of your bank account could be inconvenient and very costly.
A breach of your emergency notification system could be even worse. It could reduce confidence in real alerts or even put your community in real-world danger by causing a panic.
What can you do to help ensure that a hacker doesn’t compromise your ENS?