If you understand the ins and outs of the AMBER Alert system, a U.S.-originated system that is used by authorities to broadcast child abduction reports via TV, radio and more, then you more or less have some idea of what an emergency alert system is.
In Canada, emergency alert reports are transmitted to Canadians via the nation’s broadcasting system, namely television and radio. These messages are authorized by public officials who inform the public about dangerous situations like biological threats, environmental disasters and natural disasters.
Read on for a closer look at how an emergency system works — and about how you can use one for your business.
In 2004, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission ordered subscription-based service providers, TV stations, FM radio stations and AM radio stations to broadcast and transmit emergency alert reports. SMS texts and emails are also used to get the word out when there are impending hazards that the public must be made aware of. These messages are delivered via the NPAS, otherwise known as the National Public Alerting System.
The CRTC in 2009 decided that Pelmorex Communications would be the country’s aggregator as well as disseminator of emergency alert messages. In early June of 2010, Pelmorex rolled out the National Alert Aggregation and Dissemination (NAAD) System, which is a global open data standard that facilitates the exchange not only of public warnings, but also of emergency messages.
What It Means
In the event of a severe natural disaster on the horizon or home type of hazard that could endanger the public, the emergency alert system can be used to interrupt normal programming on, for instance, television and radio, in order to broadcast a message detailing the nature of the emergency or problem as well as advising the public what steps, if any, they should take to safeguard themselves.
What About Your Business?
Situations can easily arise where communicating with your workforce quickly and efficiently is a matter of public safety. For instance, an impending snowstorm that threatens to make the roadways and highways unsafe for travel, a terrorist-attack threat that has closed down the area or a flooding situation that makes the workplace unsafe could compel you to shut down operations for an extended period.
In such situations, you can use a emergency alert system to inform your workers of the problem. If you’ve issued smartphones, you can easily have all your workers’ email addresses and/or mobile phone numbers listed so that messages can be dispatched quickly and efficiently. For workers who still only use landlines, you can have automated messages sent directly to their phone or voicemail so that they are made aware.