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Testing Emergency Communication Tools Ensures Effectiveness

Know Your Systems Work

Many solutions are currently available that promise getting critical information into the hands of people who need it during an emergency. However, simply setting up the tool does not guarantee it will work as advertised.

Testing regularly helps ensure successful deployment when they need to be used in real-world situations. Creating a testing plan that works in conjunction with emergency communication strategies helps build familiarity throughout organizations. This can assist in avoiding costly mistakes. 

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Errors Can Hinder Clarity

Even on the largest scale, errors can prevent smooth deployment of emergency communications. This was an issue the French government encountered during the terrorist attack in Nice in July of 2016. In anticipation of the UEFA Euro 2016 soccer tournament being held in France, the French government launched an emergency notification app to keep people informed should an incident occur. However, according to the Huffington Post, during the attack, people using the app did not receive any information until nearly three hours after the attack commenced. The app, which uses geolocation to determine who to send alerts to, told users in Nice there were no incidents occurring during the attack.

A similar issue occurred in Kalamazoo, Michigan during an active shooter event in February of 2016. While an Uber driver went on a shooting spree around the county, the Western Michigan University security team failed to send out an alert to students through its channels. Following the incident, the university president said he would be reviewing the guidelines for how they address these kind of situations to keep students informed.

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Topics: Whitepaper, emergency communication

Get the Most Out of Emergency Communication Tools

Assess What You Have

A strong emergency communication plan utilizes tools that help spread information quickly and get it into the hands of people who need it. If a plan like this is not already in place in your organization (and even if one is) a good first step is to assess the tools and resources already in place and understand how to best maximize their effectiveness. This assessment can help identify weaknesses in plans and procedures already in place to correct them before an emergency occurs.

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Learn from Others

When developing an emergency communication plan, it’s important to look at what has worked, and what hasn’t, at other organizations.

For example, following tornadoes in Tuscaloosa Alabama in 2011, it was discovered that the Alabama Trauma System, a system designed to prevent hospital overload by helping reroute patients to other facilities, was underutilized. The system is supposed to help prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed by patients that need trauma care. However, during the aftermath of the tornado, hospitals were finding either too many or too few trauma patients being routed to their facilities.

This was a result of communication taking place directly between ambulances and hospitals. Since they did not go through the Alabama Trauma System, patients were not routed in the most efficient manner.

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Topics: Whitepaper, emergency communication, healthcare

Prepare Emergency Communications for Winter Break and Beyond

Know Who is On Campus      

As the semester comes to a close, colleges and universities are working to make sure students get home safely, and campuses are secured for winter breaks. However, some students will be back sooner than others as some institutions offer shortened winter terms to help students catch up or get ahead in their studies.

With a limited number of students, faculty and staff on campus during this time, it may not make sense to have the same emergency notification plan as the rest of the year. Understanding who is on campus and what kind of situations can occur during this time help keep everyone safe and informed. But the students and faculty who won’t return until the semester officially begins may not need to be notified at the exact moment an incident occurs.

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Build the Right Group

With InformaCast from Singlewire Software, users can send emergency notifications to mobile and on premise devices to reach everyone when a crisis occurs. InformaCast also gives users the ability to create groups and designate zones to fit their needs. On college campuses this is used to reach every building, office, and person with critical information. During winter terms though, certain buildings may be closed, and large numbers of student and staff may not be on campus. 

Through InformaCast, administrators can set up groups specifically to reach those people, buildings and devices that will be in use during the winter term. This helps get the right information to the right people in the event of an emergency. It also prevents messages being sent to unnecessary parts of campus, and alerting people who would be unable to assist with the situation.

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Topics: emergency communication, Higher Education

WHITE PAPER: Clear Communication During a Crisis

Learn from Past Mistakes

No matter how well prepared people may think they are, when an emergency occurs, unexpected events can lead to disaster. Misinformation can derail even the best made plans, and lack of awareness can put people in unnecessary danger.

In our new white paper, we examine recent events that have been impacted by misinformation. From terrorist attacks, to school shootings and severe weather, efforts to keep people informed have been hindered by technical and user errors. This white paper looks at different strategies organizations used to manage emergencies and the issues they experienced when tragedy struck. You’ll be able to assess the current procedures in place within your organization, identify weaknesses, and deploy best practices to ensure successful communication.

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Plan for Any Scenario

The world presents an ever-growing number of challenges that make it close to impossible to anticipate and prepare for emergencies. However, with this white paper, readers will understand the obstacles other organizations have faced and how to overcome them.

Topics covered in this white paper include:

  • Preparing for an Uncertain World
  • Utilize What You Have
  • Testing Ensures Effectiveness
  • Contact People Using the Right Channel 
  • Social Media Can Help and Harm
  • Best Practices for Clear Communication
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Topics: Whitepaper, emergency communication

Deliver Emergency Communications Inside Classrooms When It Counts

Awareness When Class is in Session

In today’s world, the best way to reach people seems to be on their mobile device. It’s a direct line of communication that most people carry with them at all times. However, in some instances, people do not have access to their mobile device, hindering the spread of information during an emergency.

For example, on a college campus, a student is on the way to class and receives a text messages alerting them to an emergency occurring on campus. He or she proceeds to class, but is unable to access a mobile device while class is in session. Similarly, the professor, who is moving ahead with instruction, is unlikely to access their mobile device during class. This means no one is receiving updates regarding the ongoing situation. They don’t know if it’s safe to leave the classroom or if they should lock the door. This inability to reach people can cause unneeded stress for students, and even incur unnecessary risk.  

That’s why it is important to utilize communication channels beyond mobile calls or SMS text messages to reach people on campus with updated information. During emergencies, high volume can result in cellular carrier congestion that impacts mass notification providers. Sending to on-premises devices ensures the intended recipients will receive the message faster than only using mobile.

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Topics: emergency communication, Higher Education

HR Technology Conference Features Latest Business Solutions

New Tech for HR

Next week, Singlewire Software will be on-hand for the HR Technology Conference and Expo in Chicago. The event is the world’s biggest conference for HR technology and focuses on the business processes and organizational successes technology enables.

The conference will cover the latest HR trends, including SaaS, cloud technology, social media, mobile, analytics, video, gamification, big data and MOOCs. It will also feature traditional technologies and processes that are still in use. 

Senior executives from leading organizations will deliver sessions that offer real-world lessons and practical takeaways. The full presenter database is available here. These sessions, coupled with the latest vendor solutions available on the Expo floor, provide an ideal learning opportunity about the latest HR technology trends.

The conference has a wide variety of resources available to help prepare for the event. Check out the official blog, or follow the conference on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

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Topics: notification software, Conferences, HR

NEWS: Regroup and Singlewire Partner for Advanced Notification Solution

Utilize an Integrated Notification Solution

Regroup Mass Notification, the award-winning provider of emergency and day-to- day communication solutions, and Singlewire Software, a leading mass notification technology developer, announce a partnership to provide mutual clients with an integrated notification solution powered by Regroup and Singlewire’s InformaCast system.

Through an advanced API Integration, Regroup and InformaCast notifications — as well as groups and other settings — can now be managed from a single system, facilitating real-time, advanced alerting.

“We [at Regroup] want our clients to have the most reliable, easy-to-use and robust mass notification system on the market,” said Joe DiPasquale, CEO of Regroup. “This new partnership will allow our respective companies to offer an integrated solution that will take their mass notification experience to a higher level, giving them even more ways to deliver a message.”

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Topics: Emergency Notification, Partnerships, Regroup

Enhance K-12 School Security with Cisco and InformaCast

Combined Solutions Provide Added Security

Cisco and InformaCast provide K-12 schools with a powerful, easy-to-use emergency notification system. Real-time video, panic buttons and messages to police radios can all be configured to ensure rapid response times and informed decision making.

During this year’s Cisco Live event, Kevin Holcomb, Technical Marketing Engineer for Cisco, recorded several videos demonstrating how K-12 schools can enhance security with Cisco and InformaCast. With emergency notifications that can be sent in multiple formats to devices that include mobile devices, video displays and more, InformaCast helps schools maximize the potential of their Cisco phones. 

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Topics: Cisco, InformaCast, K-12

Sending Emergency Notifications to Police Radios with InformaCast

This is the final entry in a three-part series highlighting how Cisco phones and InformaCast work together to improve school safety. Read parts one and two.

Communicate Directly with Police

When an emergency occurs, schools depend on a quick police response to help manage the situation. Schools need tools that communicate directly with law enforcement officials to efficiently request assistance.

Local police often donate a radio to schools to provide a direct line of contact. As Kevin Holcomb, Technical Marketing Engineer for Cisco, explains in this video, Cisco and InformaCast help school officials reach law enforcement quickly during a crisis.

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Topics: InformaCast, K-12, Emergency Notification

Singlewire Software

Singlewire Software develops and supports innovative voice applications centered around secure, fast, and reliable mass notification capabilities. More →

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Madison, WI 53713
Phone: +01 608 661 1140
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