Case Studies: How emergency notification systems save lives

The number one way to save property and lives is to respond quickly to an urgent situation. A tornado can strike quickly and without warning. It is difficult to communicate information effectively, even if there is ample warning, such as a hurricane approaching, or during a heightened security alert.

The cornerstone for saving lives in a crisis is emergency notification systems. Let’s TechNotification look at real-life examples of emergency management communication.

Case Studies In Emergency Management

Virginia Tech University implemented a multi-modal notification system that included LED displays. This proactive approach was taken to emergency notification. The LED displays can be seen more than 100 feet away and are highly effective in drawing attention to your emergency notification system. Virginia Tech decided to use LED notification displays because they were one of the few functional communication devices left in the Washington DC Metrorail after the 9/11 attacks.

Rochester updated their emergency notification system to make it easier for firefighters, police, EMTs, and rescue workers to communicate when they received calls to 911. Older communication methods required 167 phone calls per call to be made manually. This took a lot of manpower, which could have been used to better elsewhere, but still had a slow response rate.

Staff no longer needed to answer all these calls. A system that could combine voice, text, and email capabilities was able quickly to send messages to staff through multiple devices. This improved response rates and made it possible to eliminate busy signals.

Similar methods were used by the Rochester Red Cross to solve their problems. The emergency notification system sent a recorded message to a large number of contacts by pressing a single button. You could respond directly to the Red Cross by using your own keypad.

Information for Students and Tenants

People tend to clog up the telephone lines and airways with calls when there is a disaster. Most people don’t know how to get information when disaster response teams take over the use of telecommunications infrastructure.

Atlanta’s skyscraper learned the hard lesson that they had a similar problem. In the event of a disaster, all that was left to communicate with the masses was the fire alarm. A mass emergency notification system was created, which is not very informative. The web portal allowed emergency managers to communicate with each other via email, text, and web. The system was so effective that all tenants were notified when an unexpected tornado struck Atlanta in March.

To disseminate information on how to fight this year’s H1N1 influenza, campuses have used emergency notification systems. Staff, students, faculty, and staff could be kept informed about possible outbreaks, dispel myths and offer tips to prevent germ spread. They also found out information about Mississippi universities’ vaccination options. The university will also use this multimedia approach, posting messages on placards and sending them via email, text, and web alerts. Effective emergency management is vital in saving lives when every second counts in a crisis situation.

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