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We often discuss mass notification as a crucial ingredient for successful emergency response, as well as daily operations. We’re talking about the ability to reach anyone, anywhere, no matter what distractions or barriers stand in their way of receiving and understanding your alerts — instantly.

In a crisis, you don’t want any member of your audiences to fall through the cracks when they might only have moments to avoid harm. In daily operations, there’s much you can gain from mass notification in terms of revenue, productivity, customer engagement and more, as we’ve covered here.

Last year, Campus Safety hosted a webinar that touched largely on mass notification systems. During that session, Marla Moran Reynoso with Eaton, a power management company, explained four layers of mass notification you must consider to keep your organization safe and compliant with NFPA 72 requirements.

Here’s a summary:

Layer 1: In-building mass notification system

  • Emergency voice evacuation systems (EVAC)
  • One-way voice communications (Public address)
  • Visible notification appliances
  • Textual/digital signage

Layer 2: Wide-area mass notification system

  • High-power speaker arrays (Giant voice)
  • Outdoor loudspeakers
  • Strobes and digital displays

Layer 3: Distributed recipient mass notification system

  • SMS/text messaging
  • Computer pop-ups
  • Automated voice dialing
  • Email broadcast
  • Smartphone apps

Layer 4: Notification through public means

  • Radio broadcast
  • TV broadcast
  • Location-specific messages
  • Weather radios

Your risk analysis will determine the right mix and integration for your organization. The overall solution should include bullets from each of the above categories, Reynoso explains.

Of course, that’s a lot to manage and digest, especially on a tight budget. It’s also easy for staff to feel overwhelmed by so many systems if they don’t fully integrate or “talk” with one another. It’s why we recommend enhancing and integrating tools you already have, then scaling up gradually as resources allow.

What that looks like: Layered Solutions customers invest in a software solution that integrates their existing systems, and enables them to manage those systems more easily from a single app or dashboard. The software also adds new functionalities to existing technologies.

That way, you can dramatically improve your mass notification capabilities without having to replace all systems, or drop a lot of cash for it. We’d love to show you how.

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