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active shooter mass notification system

Active Shooter Mass Notification Solutions

active shooter mass notification system

May 3, 2023 Posted by in Mass Notification, Crisis Communications

Active shooter mass notification solutions may help you improve the safety of so many individuals.

What exactly is an active shooter (the official definition)?

According to the FBI’s website:

The FBI defines an active shooter as one or more individuals actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a populated area. Implicit in this definition is the shooter’s use of a firearm. The active aspect of the definition inherently implies the ongoing nature of an incident, and thus the potential for the response to affect the outcome.

The latest active shooter statistics

The latest statistics from the FBI are available as of March 25, 2022 (to be updated again later this year):

  • 61 shootings

Remember that an active shooter in a business situation is not always an outsider. According to the PBS News Hour:

While many companies provide active shooter training, experts say there is much less focus on how to prevent workplace violence, particularly how to identify and address worrisome behavior among employees. Workers far too often don’t know how to recognize warning signs, and even more crucially don’t know how to report suspicious behavior or feel empowered to do so, according to workplace safety and human resources experts.

“We have built an industry around how to lock bad guys out. We have heavily invested in physical security measure like metal detectors, cameras and armed security guards,” said James Densley, professor of criminal justice at Metropolitan State University in DePaul, Minnesota and co-founder of the nonprofit and nonpartisan research group The Violence Project. But too often in workplace shootings, he said, “this is someone who already has access to the building.”

How can you minimize danger, reduce deaths and injuries and increase and improve communication in an active shooter situation? Consider a mass notification solution. This may be one of the most effective ways to create situational awareness among your staff, bringing your people into a more well-informed consciousness about what may happen if it happens.

Let’s drill down and better understand it here:

How do active shooter mass notification solutions work?

Mass notification software is a messaging system available through specialized software that you can purchase. It should be a vital part of your company’s risk management plan. The idea is to improve the communication between you and your staff in the event of an active shooter situation — or any other emergency. What’s most effective about it is that it’s automated, allowing you to send out mass messages, share information, and put your teams into action. The result should be a quicker emergency response due to personalized messages sent out in real time.

Your mass notification system should easily integrate with your existing IT infrastructure and computer systems.

Your staff will receive your clearly written, urgent message in the way that they are most used to receiving their messages. These most-used paths include:

    • Text
    • Email
    • Desktop alert
    • Mobile app notification
    • Voicemail or voicecall
    • Social media

How active shooter mass notification systems better prepare my workplace:

You will be able to prepare your staff quickly and effectively with specific messages coming directly from you.

Here are the additional ways that your workplace will be better prepared with a mass notification system:

  • Two-way communication capabilities: your people won’t just hear from you; you’ll hear from them. Find out — in real time — if they need help and where they are specifically located. They can also give you critical details of the situation that can help others.
  • Send your message to the right people — not the wrong ones: in a situation as traumatic and as urgent as an active shooter presence, you need to reach the people who are most affected. No need to panic and confuse those who may not be in the immediate trouble area. You can group your lists by location, zip code, and other geographic options.
  • Confirm that your messages have officially gotten though: you can track and time stamp your messages as they’re sent, and confirm that the delivery was successful.
  • Keep your people informed in real time: everyone is going to want to know how and where the situation stands, as it unfolds. Your system lets you manage and share updates.
  • Notify the people who may be endangered in the coming minutes or hours. Your targeted lists let you send out specific warnings to specific groups in your geo-locations. This gives them a chance to get away or warn others, and get help.
  • Communicate with your first responders. Choose your responders and emergency-event managers in advance, and then communicate with them as events unfold.

The most important results of your emergency mass notification solution: speed and trust. 

What type of mass notification system should I consider?

When shopping for a mass notification system, consider the following benefits:

  • User friendly software
  • Strong customer support
  • Easy to use with your existing software and IT infrastructure

An emergency notification system for business like RedFlag can be your one-stop software for emergency response. Send real-time alerts and instructions to entire groups, or even as few as one person in an event like an active shooter situation. You’ll have the peace of mind of a support staff 365/24/7. You can install this user-friendly software easily with your existing computer systems.

When it comes to crisis communication in the workplace, here’s how RedFlag works, step by step:

Step 1: gather and import recipient data. Add the people you know you will need to contact in an emergency. You can easily add them through third-party import or a self-registration portal.

Step 2: send a segmented multi-channel alert. Create your message. Determine its delivery time. Select who will receive this message. Send it via text, voice, email or social media post.

Step 3: follow up with your people. You can receive feedback from the people with whom you are communicating — in real time. Ask them to acknowledge or respond to your message, so you can learn of their current status. Good for headcounts.

Step 4: gain insight to your situation. Receive (and use) expert analytics. Use it as a point of reference on how to improve future communications and protocols.

Why RedFlag’s location-based alerts are incredibly important:

In a dire emergency like an active shooter situation, segmenting is a crucial part of reaching your staff in real time. Segmenting means that you group your recipients in reference to a certain specific criteria. Think of it this way: not every single person on your list may need to receive your emergency message. There may be no need to panic people who are not in the immediate vicinity of the active shooter.

By grouping (segmenting) your contacts, send the right messages to the right people at the right time. If you don’t get the right message to the right people, you’re wasting your time and their time. Segmenting reduces wasted communication.

Specific RedFlag active shooter mass notification solution benefits:

  • Collect data. You may be called to present additional information when the incident is investigated. RedFlag can help you do that. Its self-registration portal and text-to-join interfaces allows you to easily manage contact information. You’ll also be able to reach those people in the way they prefer to be reached, in the dramatic moments when it matters most. Also upload information you already have, and allow your recipients to fill out their own profiles.
  • Enterprise-level strong security. Top-notch security and reliability is brought to you through the Microsoft Azure cloud. This allows you to hold on to your precious data and your staff in the safest manner available today.
  • Coordination/mobilize your resources. Create lists and define rules so that you can most successfully pull together your resources. You’ll be able to target any group by segment or by size. You can also send attachments to your people quickly and easily.
  • One and done. As mentioned above, you can compose your message in advance and — when the times comes — you can send it to multiple channels with the mere click of a button. Think of the time you’ll save, in possibly the worst situation you may ever face. Note that you can send multichannel messages directly from Outlook.
  • Easy-to-use dashboard. All in one spot, you can manage your notifications, generate well-detailed reports, and import user data automatically from third-party software.

RedFlag can also help in any emergency situation:

  • Natural disasters
  • Terrorists attacks
  • Severe weather
  • Facility closings
  • Maintenance issues
  • Cyber attacks
  • IT breakdowns

Bottom line 

Nobody wants to think about experiencing an active shooter event. However, we are all vulnerable to this most unfortunate factor of modern life. All we can do, in the end, is prepare for it, and figure out ways to stay safe. In fact, proper preparation may be your best defense against any upcoming trouble or danger. Active shooter mass notification solutions like RedFlag can be a most vital component of your emergency response plan in the event of an active shooter. With proper use of this crisis communication system, it can help you interact with your staff, prevent injury, and, most importantly, save lives.

Find out more about how RedFlag can be your mass notification solution. Click here

Check out these active shooter safety resources from the FBI. Click here

The Gun Violence Archive keeps track of this unfortunate statistic. Click here

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