By Courtney Emra, Lead Customer Service/Sales Assistant at Kenton Brothers
Unfortunate events in recent history like the Sandy Hook and Virginia Tech shootings, Joplin Missouri Tornado, and numerous disgruntled employee and customer threats have increased the need to communicate with your staff quickly, regardless of their location. We call this “mass notification.”
Present-day mass notification is different than past notification solutions, which involved dedicated locations or software that would receive an alert message. Today, mass notification systems typically include overhead speakers or paging systems to tell everyone within earshot what is happening and a lot more.
One such mass notification system is Alertus.
The Alertus System is configurable for any situation.
Alertus can accept alerts from devices installed in multiple locations around your building, including emergency push buttons, distress buttons under desks, hotkey commands on desk phones, fire or access control systems, NOAA weather alerts, etc. Once an alert is received, Alertus sends the specified alert to mobile or desktop applications, beacons with bright strobe lights and clear tone sounders, overhead paging or phone systems, and large outdoor speakers.
We recently installed a system for a financial company that works with consumers. They knew they could face situations like an active shooter, disgruntled employee or customer, severe weather, or a medical emergency. Each of these scenarios requires unique protocols, but regardless of their requirements, the correct information must be sent to the right people without causing unnecessary panic or confusion.
Scenario 1: Active Shooter or Disgruntled Person
If an employee encounters a threat, they can activate the Alertus System through various devices. They include wall-mounted and wireless activation buttons, an under-desk mounted duress button, and a hotkey combination for any VoIP system.
Once activated, the Alert Beacons display a custom message and exert a sound to get people’s attention. Their overhead paging systems announce the notification through text-to-speech technology, and every computer displays a full-screen message. The system also alerts each user enrolled in their mobile Recipient Application.
Scenario 2: Tornado
The system connects to NOAA weather alerts via the internet and filters the warnings by keywords, such as “tornado and observed.” Once a critical alert is received, the beacons activate a specific message and a different sound tone than Scenario 1.
A full-screen alert containing a custom text notification overrides targeted computers, and recipients can click an acknowledgment button to close the message and provide acknowledgment to safety officials. Similar to Scenario 1, users enrolled in the mobile Recipient Application are alerted.
Scenario 3: Medical Alert
The gym and maintenance shed have activation buttons to enable the System in a medical emergency. The people who need to know about the medical emergency are limited, so we don’t need to send alerts to every beacon, mobile device, etc. Instead, we can send a targeted alert to the beacon that resides with the activation button to notify occupants of the emergency.
We then activate a targeted message on the computers telling the responders where the medical event is. By notifying the people who need to know and informing them exactly where the emergency is, we limit the confusion and panic of the situation while still resolving the issue quickly.
The Alertus System is highly configurable and can be customized to fit your needs. Alertus has several integrations and numerous options for each. To learn more about mass notification systems for your business or campus, call us.