3 Projects to Enhance Your Mass Notification System

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1. 911 ALERTS

If someone calls 911 within your buildings, it’s important that the right people know an emergency is taking place. ACTIVATE One Touch Emergency Notification Solution can send notifications to select safety personnel or to an entire organization when someone dials 911 from a phone tied to their network. Alerts can be broadcast to IP speakers in a specific area of a building, particular desk phones, or to someone’s mobile device. The alert can include information like which phone dialed 911 and at what time. This can help safety teams respond faster since they know where an emergency is taking place. ACTIVATE can also record 911 phone calls and preload building records and layouts to better prepare first responders as they arrive on the scene. Recorded phone calls can be joined in-progress by system administrators and listened to after an incident occurs to assess how well a response was handled.


When an emergency occurs, you need people to stop what they are doing and understand what they are being asked to do to stay safe. One of the best ways to do this is with live audio paging delivered via an overhead speaker system. Intrusive audio can interrupt ongoing activities and grab people’s attention in ways a text message or email cannot. However, because of this, it can often be difficult to test and configure without disrupting daily operations. With people out of buildings, this testing can be conducted without interfering with normal activities.


As you build out and test new features, it is also a good idea to begin developing a monthly testing plan for your mass notification system. Again, we all too often see users set up their system, test it once, and assume everything is working as it should, only to find out that certain devices or areas of a building are not receiving notifications. Network upgrades, CUCM upgrades, and other software and hardware updates can all impact how your system functions. When an emergency occurs, you need to ensure that mass notifications reach every device and person that needs to be aware of the situation. The best way to do that is via regular testing of your system. Pick a day each month to conduct a thorough test of your system to help ensure it is working effectively.


The three projects listed above are good places to start, but there are plenty of other ACTIVATE features that can add value to your current set up. Start by looking at the devices you can send alerts to and see where else you can expand. The more devices you can reach with a message, the less likely it is that someone will miss an important update during a crisis. Next, take a look at how your notifications get triggered. You may have panic buttons set up, but automated alerts can be added for monitored email addresses, RSS and CAP feeds. Incorporating social media can help you stay connected to administrators, parents and students who are on or off campus. The more platforms you deploy in an orchestrated and immediate method, the better informed your community and first responders will be!

For more information on how to enhance (or plan) your mass notification solution, contact us https://gcti.com/contact-us/.

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