A good mass notification system or employee notification system utilizes many modes in an attempt to reach people. AMG Alerts, for example, uses combinations or e-mail, voice, SMS (text), RSS and other modes to maximize the chance of getting out the message.
One thing we have noticed as we assist our customers is , in many cases, a strong belief that land line phones will be a good method of reaching people. They often summarily profile groups – older or lower income or less educated – as technologically challenged and seed the system with land line phone numbers, figuring that at least they will be able to use land lines in an emergency.
This is a mistake. First, statistics on wireless phone and internet use do not support the theory that, say, person in a lower socioeconomic class or whom is older does not use a wireless phone or does not have email account.
Secondly, the power grid in many parts of the U.S. is very fragile and will be the first thing to go down. But hey, the more resilient land line phone network will probably be available, right? Probably, but guess what? Most people won’t be able to get to it, as barely anyone has an old-fashioned phone line-powered telephone. In the vast majority of our homes, if the power goes out, you’re not going to be picking up your land line phone to inform the power company.
This makes wireless extremely important. Wireless companies do make an effort to keep their networks alive with backup power, which ultimately can make a wireless network more effective as a mass notification mode than the very reliable land line network, which might be operational but barely accessible.
All of this means that if our customer truly wants to reach their recipient base, they should recognize the use of other communication modes among groups that they might otherwise underestimate, and they should vigorously gather and use that information for a more bulletproof notification system.