Preparation prevents or limits an emergency. Most facilities are prepared for a localized threat, like an office theft or aggravated customer, but when an entire campus needs to be warned of an emergency, challenges arise.
That campuses have multiple buildings is itself a challenge, and perhaps the greatest. Thanks to network connectivity, mass notification systems can be campus-wide, and operators may be placed anywhere on campus. This was a challenge when older systems were hard-wired to a central command station, but network connectivity has virtually eliminated the issue.
Another challenge is variable messaging. One building may need to shelter in place while another building with different construction may require evacuation instructions. Messages can be customized for specific regions, buildings, or areas within buildings. Messages may also be pre-recorded for a calm and unified approach.
Even if the right messages are making it to every part of the campus, the messages may still not be heard. Modern voice communication and mass notification systems must be understood during chaotic situations. Volume and clarity aren’t always the same challenge, and modern systems have a variety of ways to overcome ambient noise and sudden volume increases.
We’ve written about this next challenge before, and yes, here it comes again: system integration. With a unified solution, mass communication can leverage other systems across your campus. One integration option is the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP). SIP allows voice systems, like Voice over IP (VOIP) telephones, to play the same emergency messages as large speakers. Your emergency message can be played at every desk in every building on your campus. Intercom stations in hallways, elevators, stairwells, and parking garages can all play the mass communication messages as well.
With these new and significant solutions, it’s time to take a new look at your emergency response plans to see how modern mass communication systems can improve safety for employees, students, and visitors.
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The Vision team is the most experienced and educated sales, design, and installation team in the Southeast. Technical advancements and unified solutions, when designed and deployed properly, can be an integral part of your next emergency response plan evaluation.
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