Traditional mass notification systems can be useful when the head of an organization already knows what to tell their population of employees. Employees can receive mass notifications among the stream of emails, robo-calls and text messages they already receive on a daily basis. For example, Experian reports that 18-24 year olds receive an average of 67 SMS text messages per day.
If there was a security incident at the organization- how does the head of communications receive information about the incident? What is their source of information? How current is it? For threats to a facility, people in the building are the best source of information about what is going on.
Mass-notification is generally deployed as one-way, broadcast-style communication. Employees and authorities do not have the advantage of receiving real-time information from those nearby the incident, people who know important details about what is happening.
Survivability improves when employees have real-time situation awareness about an active threat in the building.
ELERTS Event Alert is a communication system that empowers anyone with the app on their phone or computer to continuously share what they know about an incident, in real-time. This includes a GPS map identifying where the information is coming from.
If there is an active shooter in the building, the person in charge of Mass Notification is unlikely able to specifically help people make a decision on what to do. Should employees try to evacuate, go into lockdown or hide? These critical decisions are best made with awareness of the situation at hand.
Example: If a gunman walks into the lobby with a rifle, mass notification is not going to help employees. But the lobby receptionist, with an ELERTS hardware panic button, can let everyone in the facility immediately know a serious threat is present, as well as the location of the threat.
Active shooter events are over quickly, usually in 5 to 10 minutes. A general mass-notification broadcast provides neither details of an evolving situation nor updates on the moving, dynamic threat. The most critical information during an active threat – enables employees and authorities to understand the situation in real-time, to make a better-informed response.