Pros and Cons to using an Emergency Notification System (ENS)

Pros and Cons to using an Emergency Notification System (ENS)

There are both Pros and Cons to using an Emergency Notification System (ENS).

This week we will discuss the advantages of implementing and using an Emergency Notification System, and next week we will share some of the disadvantages.

First off, it is important to understand what an ENS is. Most systems are able to provide an automated solution via a phone call, fax, email and even a text message. Once set up, the system is able to automatically inform groups and individuals on emergencies by referencing their phone, fax, email information.

Some advantages of an Emergency Notification System are:

  1. One step: Most notification systems are able to send voice messaging, text messaging and email messaging to entire organizations in a matter of minutes.
  2. Alerts People Fast: The use of an Emergency Notification System allows for real time communication. With advanced technology, these notifications now offer real time follow up instruction, reports and assistance.
  3. Accuracy: In the case of an emergency, communicating clearly is vital. With an automated notification system communication is consistent to a wide range of people. It supports the notification of all critical members within an enterprise and facilitates a timely gathering for discussion and immediate response.
  4. Targeting Special Messages: Having the availability to send individual groups, such as sending a special message to initial responders only can help in an emergency situation.
  5. Inbound Calling: This feature, of inbound calling, is important during an emergency to check that key initial responders have successfully received the message. Some, but not all, of these systems have the capability to receive inbound calling.

Some disadvantages of an Emergency Notification System are:

  1. Possible System Failures: There is a chance that the notification system will have a glitch. Though it is unlikely, it is important to have back up information that is available for use if the ENS does not work. It is also very important to have this system well tested and integrated with your organization. In many cases there can be mistakes and issues that are a user error and not a system failure.
  2. Out of Date Contact Information: The notification system is only as good as the information that is documented in the ENS. By preforming mock disasters and sending a message through the ENS will inform your employees if their information is current. For the employees that do not receive the message, be sure to have them update the information in the system.
  3. Cell Coverage: Some employees may not have cell service in the building or may have their cell phone off while at work, which will limit the effectiveness of the ENS. By having the message sent out multiple ways and to different devises, i.

    e. cell phone, email, desk phone, etc. will limit the likelihood that the message will not be received.

  4. Cost: It is difficult to determine cost to value. When looking at an emergency notification system it is important to consider the features that are included, whether there are limits to the number of contacts or groups you can have, and what additional fees there may be, such as overage costs or setup fees.

Regardless of your decision to utilize an Emergency Notification System, it is most important for any business to ensure that their communication plan includes quick notification to all contacts for this is the groundwork for successful emergency response.

Michael Herrera is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of MHA. In his role, Michael provides global leadership to the entire set of industry practices and horizontal capabilities within MHA. Under his leadership, MHA has become a leading provider of Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery services to organizations on a global level. He is also the founder of BCMMETRICS, a leading cloud based tool designed to assess business continuity compliance and residual risk. Michael is a well-known and sought after speaker on Business Continuity issues at local and national contingency planner chapter meetings and conferences. Prior to founding MHA, he was a Regional VP for Bank of America, where he was responsible for Business Continuity across the southwest region.

One thought on “Pros and Cons to using an Emergency Notification System (ENS)

  1. I like that you talked about how using emergency notification systems would allow real-time communication. I was working earlier and I received a sample of an emergency notification. I heard a lot of places use mobile phone emergency notification system for communities now.

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