Choosing the Right Emergency Mass Notification System

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(NewsUSA) - In an age when millions of people carry cell phones and other digital communication devices, it's arguably easier than ever to get in touch with whom-ever you want.

But what if you have to get in touch with hundreds or even thousands of people at once? That feat is getting easier as well.

Mass notification systems are growing in prevalence, and with due cause. With such threats as terrorist attacks, school shootings and natural disasters, systems that quickly and automatically notify citizens of emergencies are well warranted, says John Rodkey, vice president of government affairs and marketing for TechRadium. The Texas-based company produces a mass notification system called IRIS, short for Immediate Response Information System.

Although school boards and municipalities are the entities that choose and implement mass notification systems, Rodkey says that individual citizens play a large part in encouraging their counties or school systems to adopt the programs. But what qualities make a mass notification system worth endorsing?

The versatility with which a system can distribute an emergency message is perhaps the most vital quality that citizens should stress to their local authorities, Rodkey says.

The IRIS system, for example, has the ability to distribute voice and text alerts via cell phone, e-mail, PDA, pager and fax machine. If one device does not yield a response, the system automatically tries another until confirmed contact is made.

Citizens should also make sure their counties or school systems adopt a system that can communicate in multiple languages so that diverse populations can effectively utilize automatic emergency notification.

Mass notification systems are useful for more than emergency purposes, Rodkey says. TechRadium's system, while designed with emergency notification in mind, has been used to send routine school announcements or notices of citywide traffic delays.

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Choosing the Right Emergency Mass Notification System
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Choosing the Right Emergency Mass Notification System

Mass notification systems can be used by schools, corporations or municipalities to notify people of emergencies.

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Article Date: June 5, 2007

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