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The Importance of Leveraging all Available Communication Channels

Monday, June 12th, 2017

Imagine you’re working at the office, and you get a phone call. Maybe you’re busy writing up a report, so you put your phone on silent and get back to work. What if that call was supposed to let you know that a tornado may be coming? If you didn’t receive any other kind of notification, it might cost you your life.

The Oak Ridge, Tenn., community utilizes a mass call-out solution, which calls citizens and relays a pre-recorded message in the event of severe weather. A recent system report indicated that even though 50 percent of calls are answered, many people hang up before the pre-recorded message plays.

In this community, the outdoor emergency alert sirens are only for U.S. Department of Energy emergencies. Therefore, the phone calls are the only way citizens can receive information about other emergencies. “One of the major issues that has come to light following the Sevier County wildfires is the importance of community notification of a pending emergency,” Oak Ridge Fire Department Chief Darryl Kerley told Oak Ridge Today.

This case study demonstrates the importance of leveraging all available communication channels in a community, university, organization or industrial site’s emergency management infrastructure. This way, if one form of communication doesn’t reach someone or fails for some reason, other methods will be sent through at the same time. We live in a world of constant, ubiquitous communication, and the next generation of emergency management can now take advantage of numerous technologies to protect their people and assets.

Emergency alert and notification systems need to take advantage of multiple communication channels to ensure that everyone hears about the crisis in a timely manner. This can mean implementing multiple third-party emergency alert and notification systems. Or, it can mean choosing an emergency alert and notification system that can facilitate communication any and all channels.

CentrAlert’s Crisis-Driven Alert & Control (C-DAC) includes hardware and software that can coordinate communication through literally any channel. Here are just a few: text messaging, call-out, radio, siren, cable cut-in, reader board, email, computer pop-ups, social media and public announcement systems. If one method of communication for some reason fails to reach any given individual, other channels can still get through.

Consider upgrading your emergency alert and notification system to leverage as many channels as possible. C-DAC provides all of them. If you already have some third-party software or hardware, keep in mind that C-DAC can interface with any kind of technology. Want to add more communication channels to your emergency communication infrastructure but not sure where to start? Give CentrAlert a call for a consultation. We’re happy to help: +1 (859) 224-1047.

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