Facility safety at corporate offices depends on the preparedness of the security team as well as the ability for staff members to react quickly to unexpected situations. With an SMS system, everyone's personal phones immediately become useful safety tools with the power to shorten response time in emergency situations. Here's how:
Mass Notifications Can Save Lives
In the event of an emergency, a SMS alert could mean the difference between life and death. You need only look to the example of severe weather warnings to understand the usefulness of such a system. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the National Weather Service use SMS alerts to quickly disseminate information about severe weather. The notifications spread the word much faster than traditional methods such as radio announcements or TV broadcasts because the end user doesn't need to be actively using a specific platform to receive the message.
Similarly, local law enforcement agencies use SMS alerts to notify residents about major accidents, suspicious activities or other emergencies. The Amber Alert System is a prime example of how such a service can save lives and make communities safer and stronger.
In a corporate setting, a security team can use SMS alerts to notify building tenants of a hostile presence on the property. College campuses across the country have used this method to great advantage in recent years, and it's easy to see how the application could apply to a business.
For example, the University of California, Los Angeles implemented an SMS mass notification system to alert students in case of criminal activity, school lockdown or severe weather, reported Campus Safety Magazine. UCLA is one of dozens of college campuses across the country that have adopted the technology to keep students, staff and visitors safe from life-threatening crises.
Establishing a Mass Notification Policy
The key to facility safety is preparedness. Few emergencies in the past doesn't mean they will never happen in the future. By developing a mass notification policy now, you could prevent a future crisis before it happens.
In 2014, panelists from the University of Southern California, Florida State University and Santa Clara University told the Campus Safety Conference, hosted by the aforementioned periodical and website, that there are no one-size-fits-all solutions to crisis management. The panelists noted that each school has unique safety concerns that must be addressed individually for maximum coverage.
The same advice applies to corporate offices. A manufacturing plant has vastly different security concerns compared to a tech startup. While approaches to facility safety are necessarily different in a factory versus an office space, the same tool – a mass notification system – could be applied in both cases, so long as policies focused on staff participation.
Crisis management personnel should develop a plan to inform staff about the emergency system and encourage the involvement of all staff members. The system needs to be set up so that the response time is as short as possible. Policy should describe which situations qualify as a crisis so that several standard messages can be developed ahead of time. In other words, it's helpful to develop a comprehensive list of qualified emergency scenarios, then use that list to write clear, concise messages for each. That way, the security team can broadcast the SMS without delay.
To learn more about how to implement an SMS mass notification system at your facility, contact the experts at Swift SMS Gateway.