According to a 2020 security study, nearly 75% of education and healthcare organizations recognize the need to have multiple alert and communication systems to meet the complex interconnected web of school security access, notifications and general messaging. When was the last time you assessed your school or district’s mass notification capabilities?
If you’re looking to add to your existing unified communications system or need to start a UC plan, there are two major use-cases to consider when evaluating solutions and solutions providers, mass notification and emergency notification. An emergency notification is a method of distributing or broadcasting one-way messages to a group of people to alert them to a pending or existing emergency. While mass notification systems can also act as emergency notification system, mass notifications can be any information, non-emergent or urgent, that needs to be conveyed to a large number of individuals at one time. Typically, a mass notification system platform holds a database of names, contact information and delivery methods. The platform can contact people through text messages to phones or tablets, emails, prerecorded phone calls and social media as well as prescribed messaged on digital signage and message boards.
Here are some ways to use mass notification systems on campus:
School or District News
Incorporating your mass notification systems into day-to-day use can be an easy way to improve efficiency in school-wide communication. From the platform, you can send out system-wide messages to staff, faculty, parents and guardians, and students for:
• Early dismissal reminders
• Illness outbreaks
• Tuition payment
• Attendance/tardy notifications
• Computer or network disruptions
These systems can also work on an additional level to provide more targeted outreach to a specific group of people rather than notify an entire school population. This can include:
• Team event announcements/reminders
• Registration deadlines
• Fundraiser updates
• Club or team time/date changes
Emergency notification systems can notify large populations within seconds of a situation or danger. Many systems come with actionable alerts to E911 and lockdown triggers to ensure you can communication before, during and after an emergency. From the system, you can send out alert messages for:
• School closures due to inclement weather
• Severe weather events
• Building fires
• Active shooter or active assailant situations
Rather than thinking about mass notification systems in schools only for emergencies, we recommend allowing your staff and teachers the opportunity to become accustomed to and familiar with the technology on a more routine or daily basis. This will increase their experience and comfort with the software and system and, in the event of an emergency, increase activation times for emergent notifications.
Let Computer Solutions help you enhance your school or district’s unified communication strategy and streamline communication with NetWatch Notify™. Learn more about the unified communication solutions available to you and our close work with other Texas ISDs.