Emergency Alert Systems
This section of our technical library presents articles written about Emergency Alert Systems and Disaster Recovery definitions, terms and related information.
The 911Broadcast emergency notification and alert service can deliver a large number of phone calls using a network of phone systems employing digital phone lines simultaneously. Should a disaster such as a snow storm, wild fire or flood hit your area, 911Broadcast systems can alert your community quickly providing specific instructions if an evacuation is required.
This service is available using our emergency broadcasting systems. If a dangerous chemical spill occurs in your community, you can target specific areas to call. If a severe snow storm hits your area, your community can be notified of school closings or event cancellations.
The following article relates to Emergency Phone Tree technology and service.
Because the best laid plans can go astray, plan for life's unexpected adventures. Your child's school may have a system in place for disseminating official school information, but follow the steps below to set up a phone tree to communicate last-minute changes to your child's extracurricular schedule.
- 1. Decide what constitutes an emergency. You'll probably want to activate your phone tree for circumstances such as cancellation of a scheduled event or a change in the time or location of an event.
- 2. Determine who needs to know the information your phone tree will communicate.
- 3. Make a list of those names and collect contact information. Get two phone numbers (home, office or cellular phone); at least one should have an answering machine or voice mail function.
- 4. Choose who will sit on top of the tree (the team coach? the band director?). Work with that person to decide how many "branches" you need.
- 5. Recruit volunteers to work the branches, and assign each of them a specific group of "leaves." Be sure your branches have all the necessary contact information for their leaves.
- 6. Test your tree at least once before you need it, and fix any broken connections.
- It may be helpful to actually draw the tree and write in branch and leaf names. Check your tree against the master "needs to know" list to make sure no one is overlooked.
- A phone pyramid is another way to visualize this concept. The person sitting on top of the pyramid phones the two names "below" him; then those two people phone the two (or more) people below them; and so on.
Our Service Is Activated Online Or By Phone
The 911 emergency broadcast service is easy to install and use. We help you collect community call lists and organize them in a fashion that best fits your emergency broadcast requirements. When an emergency arises, you simply record your emergency message offline or use our toll free phone service to record your message.
Next identify your call recipients using a simple list manager or a graphical map display and send us your phone numbers via the internet. You can also identify pre-defined lists to call using simple touchphone responses on our toll free service. We do the rest.
Unlike some systems that are limited by the number of lines available to perform this emergency dialing, our service is provided to you using a network of thousands of phone lines that can deliver your emergency messages much faster.
Our emergency notification system delivers messages to individuals or answering machines and can even allow the call recipient to make touchphone selections. This may be critical if your response center requires a positive acknowledgement from the call recipient.
Purchase Or Outsource?
This is a question that communities should carefully consider. A purchased system gives you more control, but requires sufficient phone lines, equipment and on site technical knowledge to keep your system operational. The larger your community, the greater capital expense is required to broadcast your emergency messages in a timely fashion. If your message broadcasting system is used for more than just emergencies, it is easier to justify a purchase over contracted service. After all, emergency phone broadcasting is something you hope you never need to use.
Contracting your emergency broadcasting service requires less up front capital and can provide a faster emergency broadcast response if your provider has the resources available. Other than a monthly subscription fee, you only pay for the emergency broadcast as it occurs. System redundancy is available as well as centralized and experienced technical assistance.