Considering a mass notification system for your community? Stop and read this first.
Mass notification systems used by local governments are known by many names including emergency notification systems and mass alert systems. Whatever the name, these systems all allow local governments and counties to send emergency alerts to residents in critical situations, and with immediate and direct delivery. Some of these systems also enable local governments to send non-emergency events and helpful information to residents. This enables the system to be used to its fullest advantage. Could your local government benefit from a mass notification system?
When to consider a mass notification system
Many communities have experienced an emergency event which has caused them to recognize the need for a way to quickly communicate information to residents. By simple definition, an emergency event is a situation that poses an immediate risk to the health, life, safety, property or environment. An emergency requires quick intervention and communication in order to prevent further illness, injury, or in the most severe cases, death.
Whether your community has experienced an emergency and recognized the need for a better way to alert residents or you want to be proactive in case of one, it is important to evaluate your current communications strategy with residents.
Communication method options
Local governments have many communication channel options to consider when reaching residents. Websites, social media, e-mail lists, notification systems are just a few of the ways that local governments reach their residents. The important question to ask is which methods provide quick, immediate delivery of information in the case of an emergency?
Websites are necessary for local governments, however, they are a passive method in that the resident needs to go to them in order to see if new information is posted. Social media is a free “one to many” form of communication, however due to algorithms and information overload the message is not always displayed to your followers. E-mails lists can provide an easy solution, but most residents receive hundreds of e-mails in which a critical message might be buried.
Unlike all of the above methods, a mass notification system ensures that a critical message is sent and received with immediate delivery. They enable a local government to alert a resident with a push notification, text message, or other options.
Pushing out non-emergency information
Mass notification systems are a great way for municipalities to push out important information directly to residents. Comprehensive notification systems, such as Savvy Citizen, can handle not only emergency alerts, but also a wider variety of information. Non-emergency alerts include family friendly events, job postings, public meetings, municipal news, committee vacancies and volunteer opportunities, garbage delays/recycling schedules, recreational programs, ordinance changes and more.
Savvy Citizen provides local governments with the ability to quickly and effectively communicate with residents, and enables them to utilize the system on a regular basis for a variety of topics. This enables local government to keep the lines of communication open between local government and citizens.
Consider the best value for your money
One consideration when choosing a mass notification system is which one provides the most features at the most reasonable cost. If the notification system is geared towards emergency alerts only, you will likely be only using the system for the (hopefully) infrequent emergency situations that may occur. In this case the cost per usage is high.
Direct communication means more satisfied residents
Comprehensive notification systems like Savvy Citizen are used for all types of local government topics and can be used daily or several times a week. Not only is the cost per usage lower, residents are engaged more frequently in the events and happenings of their local government. Residents report improved satisfaction with their local governments when communication is more frequent and direct.