A mass notification system for local governments, commonly referred to as MNS, is a platform sending one-way messages. The purpose of these messages is to inform the public and/or employees of an emergency or natural disaster. The MNS has a large database of email addresses, phone numbers and names of people who need to be notified an emergency. To deliver the messages effectively, the software must have strong communications system with enough bandwidth to send out all the notifications.
How Does the Mass Notification System Work?
The messages sent are pre-recorded. They sent via a variety of communication avenues such as social media, text messages, email, laptop and landline. A human being or any sensing device can activate the message. A sensing device includes things such as a gas or smoke detector. Although the emergency notification systems can send and receive messages, the MNS can only send messages. The mass notification system requires tough testing. This may lead government officials to weigh the risks and reward in having a mass notification. The risk of not testing may lead to being ill-prepared verses testing too much and causing people to ignore to messages.
Tips on Picking the Ideal Mass Notification System
A local government may not know the specific type of mass notification system it needs. However, there are some needed features the local government may require in its mass notification system. For example, a mass notification system should easily integrate with any Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS). The system should allow for pre-defined messages that are opened in one click. Mobile access is important. People aren’t going to always be at home or at work during an emergency or natural disaster. The system should be able to reach tablets and smartphones. Rich media integration is another key component of a mass notification system. Rich media integration will allow the local government to attach rich media, videos, photos and maps. The more engaging and informing the message, the more it will help citizens. Another feature is the draft and message preview feature. Writing a life-saving message can’t risk a typo. The mass notification system should allow the local government to preview all messages.
MNS Vendors are Available to Help Governments
MNS vendors are responsible for training, installing and planning the MNS systems. A government has two options when trying to from people about a disaster or emergency. They can pick the emergency notification system that allows for a two-way response. The other option is to have a mass notification system to send one-way communications to people. The vendor a government decides to work with should help them decided which one is needed. In 2011, an earthquake hit the Tohoku region of Japan. Its residents received emergency notification of that natural disaster over television, radio and internet. Many mobile and landlines networks were disrupted, but the notifications were still able to be transmitted. This shows that mass notification for governments is a great opportunity to reach people in an emergency.