Emergency notification systems (ENSs) are a valuable component of effective prevention and preparedness strategies. ENS platforms enable organizations to keep their employees informed before, during, and after crises and can facilitate incident prevention and response. Here, we present five ways to use ENS to notify and protect communities.
1. Crisis Awareness
ENS platforms are arguably best known for their role in emergencies. Broadcast alerts can be used to inform community members of immediate safety and security threats such as active assailants, lockdowns, or dangerous weather.
Fashion Show Mall: Active Shooter
2. Suspicious Activity
In addition to immediate threats, ENS platforms are an effective way to keep communities informed of potential danger, such as suspicious persons, vehicles, or packages at or near an organization’s workplace. Suspicious behaviors can escalate into crises, so it is important to maintain community awareness. Communicating about suspicious activity may also provide clarity on the event at hand; for example, a “suspicious person” may in fact be an employee’s guest.
Healthcare: Hospital Propped Doors
3. Facilities Hazards
Facilities hazards may be an overlooked threat, but they can present significant danger. Risks such as exposed wires or metal, burst pipes, broken elevators, or potential gas leaks are important to communicate, as they can cause employee injury. This may lead to liability exposure, missing days of work, and diminished organizational productivity.
Utilities Sector: Responding to Safety Hazard
4. Weather Warnings
Sharing weather information is another helpful way to engage ENS platforms. Inclement weather can lead to property damage, road closures, power outages, unsafe conditions, and operational changes or workplace closure. ENS provides a means of alerting employees of impending or current weather conditions that may present dangers or alter operations. ENS platforms also provide value when preparing for these weather events and developing corresponding contingency plans. For example, organizations may conduct regular evacuation drills, as evacuations may be necessary during dangerous weather.
Monumental Sports & Entertainment: Evacuation Drill
5. Local Guidance
ENS alerts are a rapid, reliable way to inform employees of relevant local guidance such as road closures, COVID-related regulations, protest activity, or nearby hazards. Depending on the ENS platform, local guidance alerts may be targeted based on the geographic location of users.
For example, if there is protest activity near an organization’s office, their security team can send a geo-targeted ENS broadcast to inform the employees who are in or around that location. This enables only affected employees to receive messaging and prevents others, such as remote workers, from receiving unnecessary communications.
Museum and Research Complex: Traffic Delays During Protests
Effectively Deploying an ENS
The five scenarios presented here are some of the most common and impactful ways that ENS can be used to facilitate safety within an organization. However, this is not exhaustive; ENS also provides value during cybersecurity attacks, incidents of workplace violence, mental health crises, and more. Emergency notifications provide far-reaching value to any organization, regardless of size or geography.
When considering an ENS system, it’s important to understand the key features of an effective ENS, such as geofencing, audience grouping, and message customization. Some platforms, such as Vector LiveSafe Alert, an ENS offering, includes a check-in feature that enables users to indicate that they are safe during an emergency.
Regardless of the crisis, LiveSafe Alert allows you to easily deliver the right message at the right time in a battle-tested user experience researched with industry experts from around the world. Learn more about the LiveSafe platform by downloading the LiveSafe Alert Feature Sheet.