Using Text Messages for Emergency Alerts
Sending text messages for emergency alerts is the most effective method of communicating important, often life-saving information to an affected audience. The recent events at Virginia Tech clearly demonstrate the shortcomings of using email to broadcast emergency alerts.
Nearly everyone now owns a wireless phone. Text messaging is the most common mode of communication for many, especially within the “young adult” community. Text messaging is immediate, unlike other modes of alerts, such as email, and home phone messages.
In today’s uncertain world, it is increasingly critical to be able to quickly disseminate information. Any “at risk” entity, be it a school, military base, city, county, state, can quickly implement an emergency alert system using text messaging. One can expect that citizens will willingly provide their cell phone numbers in exchange for the assurance that they will be able to quickly receive any emergency alerts that affect their safety, or that of their loved ones.
Text message emergency alerts can be used to notify people in case of:
- Violent crime risk
Infrastructure disruptions (power, water, gas outages)
Storm warnings (tornado, hail, high wind, and hurricane)
And any other incident that requires immediate attention