Emergency Notification Systems and Crisis Communication – Blog

Preventing Accidental Alert Notifications

Juliet Hulse By Juliet Hulse

Within the last several months, we’ve seen a number of news stories related to organizations of all different types sending out emergency alerts to their constituents that they didn’t mean to send. This has increased as more active shooter scenarios have made it into media headlines. In an effort to prepare, check, or even test emergency notification systems, organizations are accidentally sending out emergency alerts that are not identified as a drill or test. This might be a flaw with the organization itself or it may be a flaw with the emergency notification system the organization employs. 


When choosing the best emergency notification system for your organization, you must do your due diligence to ensure that your emergency notification solution protects you and your people from hackers or security breaches. You should also ensure the system has multiple checks-and-balances to help prevent the accidental launch of notifications. 


Use these three tips to protect your organization against accidental launches of emergency alerts. 



Customers shouldn't have access to other customers’ data; employees shouldn't have access to customer data or accounts. Security must be at the core of any emergency notification system. Protecting customer data and partner data must be a top priority for each solution provider. With having such a responsibility to our customers, we take maintaining a reliable and robust security posture very seriously. 


Protecting customer, client, and partner information is critical to any emergency notification system provider, which is why it is given our highest level of data protection. 


Simulator Mode  

Running tests, exercises, and drills of your system is a potential reason for an accidental alert launch. Testing your emergency notification system is of extreme importance to ensure your system is working as it should, but it’s also testing to make sure that the correct people are getting the correct message. In the midst of this testing, it’s easy to send an alert that isn’t marked as a drill or test. This is why we’ve created a special training mode called Simulator Mode


As the name implies, this mode is intended to allow an administrator to simulate sending an alert without actually sending any messages. Simulator mode will allow the administrators to compose and simulate sending a message without actually sending anything to the endpoints selected. 


All other administrative functions are not impacted by Simulator mode and still function normally. This mode should also create a report for you to review with your team to understand where your drill succeeded and where you need work.


Confirmation to Send Notification

As we speak about accidental alerts we might all think of the same event - the Hawaii Missile Launch False Alert.  A message was sent via television, radio, and cell phones that a ballistic missile was on its way to Hawaii and this was ‘Not a Drill’.  Although this was an accidental message alert, it terrified hundreds of thousands of people into thinking they were going to die in the next few minutes. 


Within any legitimate emergency notification system on the market today, having the capability to review the content and ‘confirm’ the launch of an emergency message, notification, or action is considered a best practice. Organizations should take this chance to confirm their technology supports this best practice in alignment with properly developed emergency procedures. Verify that your emergency notification system requires this important step in initiating an emergency warning or at the very least provides you with the opportunity to activate the capability.


There are many things to consider when choosing an emergency notification provider. The security of your organization’s data, ability to test in a simulator-type mode, and having the ability to confirm the initiation of emergency communications should all be at the top of your list. Read the Buyer's Guide to Emergency Notifications to fully understand what all you need to take into consideration when choosing the best emergency notification system for your organization. 


Read the Guide

Yes! Send Me Vital Industry News & Updates

Active Shooter Emergency Preparedness Guide - During

No organization wants to think about the day that an emergency might happen at their facilities, especially an active shooter crisis, but it is something that each organization must prepare. Not only is mass emergency preparation a legal obligation, but most would argue that it is a moral one. You want to keep your people informed and out of harm’s way. If there’s an emergency, people expect to be notified and provided the guidance to remain safe. There are many alerts that we have grown accustomed to receiving such as weather alerts, Amber or Silver Alerts, or even local emergency alerts. So, if there’s an active shooter emergency in the vicinity, people expect to be alerted in a similar fashion.

Continue Reading

Emergency Communications & Notifications, Emergency Planning & Preparation, Automating Emergency Notifications

Juliet Hulse 

Triggering Severe Weather Safety Notifications Through Omnilert Scenarios

Severe weather can happen at any time. Depending on the season and your location, weather threats can range from thunderstorms and tornadic activity to hurricanes, Nor’easters, or even a wintry mix. Having emergency communication plans and an automated method of distributing said communications in place helps ensure you and the people you are responsible for are kept safe and informed during severe weather season - no matter which season.

Continue Reading

Emergency Communications & Notifications, Emergency Planning & Preparation

Andy Hausman 

Off-Campus Timely Warnings - An Explanation

Of all the requirements of the Jeanne Clery Act college and university communities most frequently associate it with the timely warning. As an original part of the 1990 law timely warnings have fundamentally changed how students and employees learn about campus crime in a way that is now firmly enshrined in their cultures as it is what they most frequently see.

Continue Reading

Emergency Communications & Notifications, Emergency Planning & Preparation, Automating Emergency Notifications

New Call-to-action