When you lead a school, one thing is paramount on your mind. It’s the safety of your students, and for your students to be safe you need an accurate, speed-driven emergency system that precisely alerts teachers and parents on simple notifications such as pick up times, break times and drop-offs, and complex emerging threats such as a hurricane, or any natural disaster.
A notification system that also connects the stakeholders in the school, in discussing impending impacts of day to day security of the students, teaching and non-teaching staffs and also informing the parents on a minute by minute reports, ensuring that each user can request assistance at any time One major issue facing the school system is there are so many people involved in its operation, and when communication, especially in times of emergency, is not properly handled, this could lead to chaos.
The School is such a fragile environment such that, if a notification goes off at the wrong time, it will definitely take time to cushion its effect. A simple example is alerting parents at a wrong pick up time could destabilize parents schedule, or an alert system that alert students of the close of school at the wrong time could leave students stranded waiting for parents pick up
Emergency Notification System What It Actually Is
This is software that uses a central point in sending messages to any size of the audience, over a communication channel, to any location of your choice across the world For example, let's say there is an emergency around your school like an impending roadblock, and you need to notify the teachers to round up teaching at a time and also parents to prepare an earlier pick up The notification can help you handle both communications seamlessly and quickly without delay.
The teachers and parents are both informed and the students are protected. You know that information is only useful when it reaches the right people at the right time.
You should have in mind that the right emergency notification system, could reach out to your parents and teachers at the same time and at the click of a button. It also takes into consideration the number of channels your stakeholders will be on so as to communicate with them swiftly, from text messages, phone calls, emails, WhatsApp and other channels Allow me to take you on a bit of journey of how Emergency notifications evolved, and how it has adapted to our world today. Are ready for this? Let’s go
Emergency Notification System, Then and Now
In time past communicating emergencies where through verbal, one on one, person to person methods, as the numbers of people in a particular location begins to grow, it developed into town criers creating awareness, to smoke signals, torch signalling and flashing mirrors to communicate emergencies But the limitations here were very enormous due to growing number of people at a particular point in time. Do you know that during the American Revolution, Paul Revere famously rode under cover of night to alert the colonial militia about the approaching British forces before the battles of Lexington and concord.
This is all they had at the time, but this was the importance of the emergency communication system, that prepare people on time from impending dangers, herby protecting themselves, their loved ones and also their assets and properties. As time went buy communicating emergencies became easier, especially when the radio was invented, more people could be reached without having to travel such ridiculous distances In fact in 1941, the unthinkable happened The United States was attacked on home soil at pearl harbour location this event was so catastrophic it gave rise to the first radio and network bulletin
This radio was so effectively used by the government to communicate to people what just happened. The radio became the primary method of delivering warnings and news The use of radio continued to last for another 10 years. When Harry Truman came to power he leveraged the use of technology to enhance communication, He used the form of technology called electromagnetic radiation, which broadcasted information on civil defence through radio and television
In 1963 an upgraded alert system was put in place to allow the president to alert the country on any foreign bomb threats and also allow the president to communicate quickly with the American public in the event of war or national issues Funny enough this system was not activated for what it was proposed for but it was used to broadcast local emergencies, warnings of weather threats and such emergencies, In fact, the technology behind the design focused on unifying the FM radio station into a single network where the message of the president could be delivered to the public at the same time.
In 1997 the Emergency Broadcast System was then replaced with the current one which is more effective called emergency alert system. The difference is that this emergency alert system leverages radio and television as well as other new communication channels including cable and satellite television, mobile phones and more In 2013 the government further added the Wireless Alert System together with the emergency alert system. They both deliver in near-instant warnings and alerts and pass information across effectively to all broadcasting channels including televisions radio landline phones and mobile phones
Educating In Times Of Emergency
Today every organisation must know how to communicate during an emergency, according to the Business Continuity Institute more than 50% of organisations use one form of emergency communication management software to reach their employees during a crisis So it is becoming a normal scenario for organisations to have this emergency communication software imputed in their processes, during the pandemic remote working became increasingly popular.
In fact, remote work is now more popular than ever According to research conducted by all labs, 16% of companies out of 100% now work fully remotely and more than 60% of employees ages 20 to 65 say they now work remotely at least occasionally.
According to UNESCO disasters caused by natural hazard and pandemic keeps millions of children out of school and the numbers are rising. UNESCO highlights that even in critical emergency circumstances when communities have lost everything, education remains a top priority list for families
So from this submission by UNESCO, it is saying that education is top priority even in emergencies, the question is how to keep education on going even in an emergency situation. With the evolving of highly mobile parents, the need for a modern emergency notification system helps your school communicate with any of your parents anywhere in the world using a multi-channel emergency system. An alarm bell in the school system is not enough to communicate to a highly mobile parent evolving today. Of course, all software's can perform the same way but here are the things to look out for when considering an emergency notification system for your school
12 Compulsory features of a School Emergency Notification System
Now let's get into the features of an emergency notification system that work best for the situations of an emergency in your school. There are 12 features you must watch out for when considering an emergency notification system for your school
This is obviously the most important feature of your emergency notification system as it allows messages and prompts to get down to stakeholders right on time as every second counts when it comes to emergencies. Looking at the large number of stakeholders your school has it is important you have an emergency communications system that gets the notification to them right on time
Multiple channel notification
An emergency notification system that uses more than one channel is very paramount today, text messages, in-app notifications, voice calls, email sequence social notifications, amongst others are very crucial in alerting your parents or teachers in case of an emergency. If your notification system is only focused on one or two channels you might miss some parents due to their unavailability on a particular channel at a point in time
Every channel has different form of communication, a text message might not allow more than 140 to 150 characters per message while an email will allow longer text, a call on the other hand will be effective when there is a voice on the phone
The right message to the right people
In a school setting we have different stakeholders. The parents, teachers, board of directors, non-teaching staff and the students The emergency type will determine who gets what message at a particular point in time, this means not every emergency notification is required for all stakeholders at the same time
Pre planned notification
You cannot start typing a notification at the point of an emergency, it is very important for built-in templates to be made available even before an emergency shows up. You must have a very ready template pre-built for each group of audience at a point in time. This only needs a send notification; this is what you should go for as this lift off the burden off you. Remember you don't have time to put words together during an emergency
Built-in application for Android and IOS
An emergency system, which is built on Android and IOS, has the opportunity for faster adaptability to your audience and new upgrades can be made available at the click of a button at the point of release. This is why having Android and iOS versions of your notification system is so vital when choosing a one
Easy to Navigate
What is the use of a notification system when it is not easy to get around? The design interface must be so simple as you know that your parents will also access this emergency notification system, so simplicity is so crucial
The emergency notification system must have a community feature that allows stakeholder to pre-plan or pre discuss emergency situations and provide solutions and suggestions right there on the app even before the emergency or course
There must be a weekly report system that shows preparedness for emergencies in different situation showing people, that responds to notifications at the particular point in time and people that made use of the emergency system at a particular point in time. This analytics keeps everybody notified on the usage of the emergency notification system
The notification system must have an inbuilt security System that protects the data of the internal audience in order to eliminate any risk of loss of information of users
E learning mode
Since this notification system is designed for your school there must be a daily update of learning activities on the notification system so as to easily switch to a learning mode in case of an emergency situation that prevents the children from accessing the school physically
No matter the kind of technology it only makes sense when it is accessible to the customer and when every glitch is solved at the tap of a button. When users can easily access customer support for questions, upgrades and queries related to the fantastic use of the notification system
SEE HOW IT WORKS
In adapting to a remote driven world having an emergency notification system that takes into consideration the importance of all stakeholders in your school is very crucial And having an Emergency notification system that is multichannel, and takes care of each child’s learning need even at the worse emergency is so important post-pandemic education, click the link below to book a three hour demonstration for your school