The value of text alerts during mass emergencies

This blog has spent a tremendous amount of time stressing the importance of emergency texts. They are much more effective than calling in the event of an emergency situation, which works very well from an individual sense, but just as well in a mass emergency situation.

During an emergency such as a catastrophic weather event, a large number of people need to receive important information at once. Not only is it easier to send out one text to a group than making individual calls, this type of communication doesn't clog up network space as much as calling, which means more people will be reached at once.

Suppose a snow storm or other type of emergency hit, and people all over needed to reach loved ones or receive information from some sort of emergency service provider. If everyone is making phone calls, the network becomes congested. Calls are dropped. In an emergency situation, quick bits of text will suffice, and further information can be shared at a later time. 

Brough Turner, a communications engineer, recently spoke with the online publication BoingBoing about the effectiveness of text messaging at times where communication is essential. Turner indicated that calling during these times can hurt the chances of establishing a connection because of increased activity.

"It's much better," Turner said. "The SMS messages have a relatively light footprint, first of all. The second thing is that they're asynchronous. If they can't get through this instant, they keep trying. If it gets over the radio to the cell site, it will get through. Even if it's delayed for 30 seconds or something. With voice you're either connected or you're not, and when you are that means that the traffic channel is tied up until you're done talking. More likely, it means you never get connected because traffic channels are already saturated."

In an emergency event, organizations may be able to provide important information to a number of recipients. Working with a provider like Swift SMS Gateway allows them to obtain tools needed to orchestrate effective SMS alerts campaigns.