In recent news, we’ve had to hear about the harsh reality of an active shooter in public places like shopping malls, schools and movie theaters. A quick Google search for “active shooter” retrieves nearly 5 million hits. It’s a hot topic out there in the world of creating an effective emergency preparedness plan.
If you comb through the active shooter checklists and emergency preparedness plan information out there on the web, you’ll find a common thread about communication. Being able to communicate effectively is a key element in handling an active shooter situation with success. As with all emergencies, when communication breaks down, other things tend to break down as well.
Pocketstop’s RedFlag mass notification system is a communication tool designed to be incorporated into an organization’s emergency preparedness plan and for use by public places that may encounter critical situations. Sure, a mass notification system is great for routine use and distributing general information. But a mass notification system also adds a lot of value to a public place’s emergency preparedness plan.
We often talk a lot about how the RedFlag mass notification system can alert employees, staff and tenants internally about emergencies and imminent danger. However, a sometimes overlooked benefit of using a mass notification system is its ability to warn people to stay away.
A shopping mall’s tenants, for instance, have employees working different shifts and different hours. In the event of an active shooter, a shopping mall’s mass notification system administrator or user can notify those tenants who may be on their way to work or at lunch to stay away. If the situation calls for it and it has been identified in the mall’s emergency preparedness plan, a mass notification system could also be used to alert the general public of an active shooter by updating the mall’s social media pages (this, of course, should be done if the time is right so people are not sent into a panic).
The RedFlag mass notification system also gives public places the ability to quietly alert tenants, employees and staff about active shooter situations and is an especially useful tool for organizations who can only communicate quickly by using a public address or intercom system.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has a lot of great resources for an active shooter emergency preparedness plan for both law enforcement and the general public. It’s a great place to go for emergency preparedness planning information if you’re a public place like a mall, school, movie theater or hospital. Unfortunately, we can’t predict when an active shooter incident will occur, but we can prepare for them.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s training course “Active Shooter: What You Can Do,” has several goals for its participants including1:
Being fully prepared for an active shooter comes from a combination of taking the proper training courses, creating an effective emergency preparedness plan, training your workforce, holding drills and using communication tools like the RedFlag mass notification system to increase the likelihood that a real life active shooter situation will be handled expeditiously with no losses of life or property.
For more information about the RedFlag mass notification system and how it can add value to your organization’s emergency preparedness plan, contact Pocketstop at 469-457-2321 or live chat with us today.
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