Mass Notification Toolkit Provides Guidence on Crisis Communications
CDW Government (CDW-G) has introduced the Mass Notification Toolkit, a Web site providing practical guidance on implementation, marketing and sign-up challenges associated with the deployment of mass notification systems.
A 2008 study by the company revealed that about one-third of all United States residents are unfamiliar with their local emergency notification program and that local governments tend to be out of touch with their citizens' communication methods when it comes to disseminating emergency information, most notably with regard to wireless technology and text messaging.
During a crisis, technology plays a critical role in mass notification of all affected parties, using traditional radio and television broadcast signals and community sirens, as well as telelphones, text, e-mail, instant messages and digital signage. Chris Rother, public sector group vice-president for CDW-G, said that, in response to the study's results, many local governments and school districts asked for help in reaching their constituents more effectively.
The Mass Notification Toolkit provides insight on the most important elements in establishing an effective mass notification system:
- Who needs to be involved in system development;
- What a mass notification system IT infrastructure looks like;
- What notification system features are available;
- How to craft effective mass notification messages; and
- How to increase constituent participation in mass notification systems.
Scott Aronowitz is a freelance writer based in Las Vegas. He has covered the technology, advertising, and entertainment sectors for seven years. He can be reached here.