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Choosing a Mass Notification System

EMERGENCY PREP

More and more organizations are considering mass notification systems following the shooting at Virginia Tech. But just what kind of a system should a facility executive look for?

Facilities often have unique needs, but one starting point is to consider what the panel tasked with examining the University's response to the tragedy said. An appendix in the group's report issued recommendations for how a mass notification system should work.

According to the report, a mass notification system should be able to use text messaging, instant messaging, e-mail and web posting. It should also use voice communication to either cell phones or land lines.

Another recommendation is that the system be robust, and distributed in more than one location. The system also shouldn't saturate communications channels, but disperse the messages instead.

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