emergency

Emergency Text Message System: Your Guide To SMS Alerts

The best way to stay prepared for any critical situation is to use an emergency text message system.

Fortunately, with DialMyCalls’ mass texting service, you can send SMS alerts to dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of contacts immediately.

Better yet, text messages are the quickest and most accessible form of communication, ensuring your contacts can act fast during a crisis.

Overall, these alerts are key to ensuring the safety and well-being of your community, regardless of the type of organization you run.

So, let’s explore what exactly emergency SMS is, why and when to utilize it, and how to get started.

What Is Emergency SMS?

Emergency SMS is one of the best ways to send information and alerts in times of crisis. With an emergency text message system, you can provide timely updates and and instructions to people affected by various types of urgent situations, like:

  • Inclement weather
  • Public safety threats
  • Transportation disruptions

Because most people carry their cell phones with them at all times, mass texts are the perfect tool for reaching your audience as fast as possible. After all, during an emergency, time is often of the essence, making immediate communication vital.

With DialMyCalls, you can send anything from a simple weather update to links to evacuation routes and safety precautions.

So, whether you’re a government agency looking to keep citizens informed or a business owner wanting to distribute building evacuation instructions, emergency SMS is the perfect tool.

Whatever the situation, text messages are critical to emergency-preparedness.

Emergency SMS vs Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA)

While anyone can use a mass texting service to send emergency SMS messages, Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEAs) are issued by the government.

Additionally, you can use emergency text messages in just about any emergency situation, but there are only three types of WEAs:

  • Presidential Alerts: While no president has used these alerts yet, they can be issued by the president in the event of a nationwide emergency.
  • Imminent Threat Alerts: These alerts are typically issued by the National Weather Service in response to weather-related emergencies, like hurricanes or flooding.
  • Amber Alerts: In cases of child abduction, law enforcement can issue these alerts to help return the missing child to safety.

Ultimately, only government-controlled organizations can use Wireless Emergency Alerts. So, if you’re looking to send your own alerts in times of crisis, you’ll need an emergency text message system.

Why Use An Emergency Text Message System?

The quickest and most effective way to communicate is via SMS. So, during urgent situations, sending emergency text messages is the best way to alert anyone affected by the crisis.

Below, we discuss why you should use an emergency text message system to stay prepared for any type of crisis situation.

Immediate Reach

One of the key reasons emergency SMS is a critical tool during times of crisis is because it’s the quickest way to reach your audience. In fact, as of 2024, 97% of U.S. adults own a mobile phone, 95% of text messages are read and responded to within 3 minutes of being received, and 45% of text messages receive a response.

This fast communication is especially important in urgent situations, allowing people to take action quickly if necessary.

Unlike email and voice broadcasts, which people can put off checking, most people check their text messages many times throughout the day. This is because they’re more likely to receive notifications immediately, and reading an SMS message takes only seconds.

Ultimately, speed is critical in urgent situations, and texts are the fastest way to communicate.

Targeted Messaging

Another advantage of using an emergency text message system is that you can send SMS alerts only to those to whom the messages are relevant.

With DialMyCalls’ mass texting service, you gain access to an easy-to-use contact management system. This allows you to segment your contact list into various groups based on whatever information is important.

For example, a local government agency may have emergency contact information for all the citizens in their city. However, if a crisis situation only affects one neighborhood in the city, you likely wouldn’t want to send an alert to everyone in the city.

Instead, you can separate your contacts into groups based on the neighborhood they reside in. This way, if say, an electricity outage is affecting one neighborhood in the city, you can send a simple emergency alert to only those living in that specific neighborhood.

Overall, this allows you to keep affected residents updated, while ensuring unaffected residents in a different part of town don’t have to worry.

Receive Replies Through Two-Way Texting

One more useful feature of an emergency text message system is two-way texting, which lets you directly receive replies from your recipients.

For example, if you’re a building manager and a bad storm occurs which affects your property, you can receive confirmation that your residents are safe. Similarly, a school can accept replies to a text after an on-campus crisis to ensure all students have been reunited with their families.

Additionally, you may want your recipients to be able to ask questions regarding the emergency situation.

For instance, if you send out a mass text with an emergency evacuation route, recipients can easily contact you with any questions or concerns they may have with the plan.

Emergency Text Alert System For Business

An emergency text alert system for business is an essential tool for businesses of all sizes, whether you’re a small business or large corporation.

While we may typically associate emergency-preparedness with governments and public service organizations, the importance of such preparedness in the business world cannot be overstated.

Regardless of size or industry, businesses face a variety of potential emergencies, ranging from natural disasters and health crises to cybersecurity threats and infrastructure failures.

An emergency text alert system equips businesses with a powerful communication tool, ensuring they can swiftly and effectively respond to these challenges, thereby safeguarding their employees, assets, and operations.

We delve deeper into the key reasons businesses should use emergency SMS below.

Employee Safety

The most important reason to use an emergency text message system for business is to safeguard the health and safety of your employees.

Your business can promptly distribute critical alerts and safety instructions in situations like:

  • Natural disasters
  • Security threats
  • Health emergencies

Overall, because you can communicate with your employees quickly, you’ll be more likely to avoid dangerous situations and guide employees to safety.

Operational Continuity and Risk Management

An emergency text message system also provides a reliable communication channel in the case of unforeseen events. This allows you to quickly relay instructions on how to maintain or adapt operations.

For example, in the case of a cybersecurity threat, you can make changes to your workflow on the fly to minimize downtime.

Ultimately, this helps you manage risk and reduce any potential financial losses during emergencies.

Send Relevant Emergency Alerts

One of the key benefits of an emergency SMS system is that you can customize alerts to suit specific departmental- or location-based needs.

For example, if you run a large business with offices in multiple cities, you can separate members of your contact list based on their location.

Then, if say, a weather emergency is affecting only one of your locations, you can send an emergency notification only to employees working in that specific city.

Likewise, if you own a business with only one location but multiple departments, you can segment contacts based on their department.

For example, if your business is facing a cybersecurity threat, you can send an emergency SMS alert to only employees in your IT department.

Overall, this ensures employees only receive SMS alerts that are relevant to them.

Legal Compliance

Emergency-preparedness regulations can vary a lot based on local regulations. However, many regions require businesses to have emergency communication plans in place.

Implementing an emergency text alert system helps businesses meet these legal requirements, showcasing their commitment to employee safety and corporate responsibility.

How An Emergency Text Notification System Works

An emergency text notification system is clearly a critical communication tool for organizations of all types. Fortunately, sending out emergency SMS alerts is super simple.

To get started, sign up for DialMyCalls and select your plan. If you want to be able to receive replies from your recipients, be sure to activate our two-way texting feature.

From there, you need to add your recipients to your contact list. You can add contacts manually, import them from a .csv file, or let them opt-in using an SMS keyword.

After adding your contacts, you can then segment them into different groups using our contact management system.

For example, businesses can separate contacts based on departments or location. Meanwhile, a local government agency might segment contacts based on which neighborhood they reside in, or any other relevant criteria.

Once your contacts are organized, you’ll be ready to send out an emergency text message to the right people as soon as an urgent situation strikes.

For instance, if you want to notify certain groups with a severe weather alert, you can write a simple message detailing safety precautions like in the example below. You can even use our variable messaging feature to personalize your alert with elements like @FirstName.

How To Set Up Your Emergency Text Message System

After you’ve written your emergency alert, be sure to read it over to ensure the information is accurate. Then, you can send your message immediately, and everyone in your chosen contact group will receive your SMS in just seconds.

Finally, though this is optional, you may want to accept replies from recipients confirming they’re safe or answer any questions they may have. Fortunately, contacts can message you back directly if you activate two-way texting.

You may also want to send a follow-up mass notification to let contacts know when the emergency is over.

Emergency Text Message Examples

You can utilize an emergency text message system during urgent situations of all types. Below, we provide examples of some common types of emergencies requiring quick and clear communication.

1. Weather Alerts

Weather alerts are crucial for informing the public about impending severe weather conditions like:

  • Storms
  • Heavy rain
  • Extreme temperatures

These messages should be timely and specific to the affected area, providing actionable advice such as seeking shelter or avoiding travel.

Continual updates are essential to keep the public informed as the situation evolves.

“Severe Weather Warning: Expect heavy rain and strong winds in [Area] from 3 PM. Seek shelter and avoid unnecessary travel. Stay tuned for updates.”

Weather Alert Emergency Text Example

2. Public Safety Alerts

Public safety alerts cover a range of incidents, from environmental hazards, like chemical spills, to public health emergencies.

It’s vital to quickly inform those in affected areas about the danger and provide clear instructions on how to stay safe.

For example, you might advise residents to stay indoors or avoid certain locations. Finally, be sure to provide regular updates as the situation evolves and resolves.

“Public Safety Advisory: Due to a chemical spill near [Location], residents are advised to stay indoors, close windows, and turn off air conditioning. Updates to follow.”

Public Safety Alert Emergency Text Example

3. Health Emergencies

In today’s day and age, clearly communicating public health advisories has never been more important.

During health emergencies, such as disease outbreaks or pandemics, it’s vital to disseminate health guidelines swiftly. These messages should contain succinct information on the nature of the health risk, as well as preventive measures.

Additionally, it’s a good idea to provide instructions on where to find more detailed guidance, such as a dedicated website.

“Health Alert: Outbreak of [Disease] reported in [Area]. Avoid crowded places and practice good hygiene. Visit [Website] for safety tips.”

Health Alert Emergency Text Example

4. Infrastructure Issues

Infrastructure issues can significantly disrupt daily life. Luckily, timely alerts about traffic incidents, road closures, or utility outages can help people avoid inconvenience.

These messages should provide specific details about the location and nature of the incident, as well as estimated resolution times if available.

Finally, be sure to follow-up on your original emergency SMS message to update contacts once the issue has been resolved.

“Traffic Alert: Major accident on [Highway]. Road closed between [Exits]. Expect delays and seek alternative routes.”

Infrastructure and Traffic Emergency Text Example

5. Security Incidents

In the case of security incidents, such as unauthorized entry or active threats, rapid communication is essential for public safety.

These alerts should provide specific location details, immediate actions to be taken, and encourage reporting of any suspicious activity.

Ensuring public safety while avoiding panic is a delicate balance in such scenarios. So, once the threat has subsided, be sure to let your contacts know with a follow-up bulk text.

“Security Alert: Unauthorized person reported in [Building Name]. If safe, evacuate immediately. Avoid area and report suspicious activity.”

Security Alert Emergency Text Message Example

 

How to Send Emergency Text Messages

In the event of an emergency you want to ensure that you know exactly how to send out a text message easily. The following steps are how to send out emergency text messages using DialMyCalls:

Step #1: Sign Up For DialMyCalls

Sign up for an account with DialMyCalls and register a local vanity number that will be used to send out your text messages from.

Step #2: Add Emergency Contacts

Manage Contacts - DialMyCalls

You will now need to add emergency contact information into your DialMyCalls account by adding them individually or uploading an Excel file of every contact at once.

Step #3: Set Up Text Message

Now that you have added the contact into your account, you can go ahead and create a new text message broadcast. Select the contacts you’d like the message to go to and then type out your emergency text message.

Follow the on-screen prompts to send out your emergency text message to everyone at once in a matter of minutes.

Step #4: Review Your Detailed Text Message Report

Emergency Weather Alert Text Report - DialMyCalls

Once the emergency text message has been sent out you will have a detailed report to look over to make sure every one of your contacts received the important message.

Emergency Text Message System FAQs

Is There A Free Emergency Text Alert System?

The only free emergency text alert system is Wireless Emergency Alerts, which are sent by government-controlled organizations. Recipients are never charged for receiving these emergency notifications, as they are a public service.

However, if you want to send emergency text messages of your own, you’ll need to pay for an emergency SMS system.

Fortunately, DialMyCalls charges on a sliding scale. This means the less messages you need to send, the less you’ll need to pay.

How To Send An Emergency Text On iPhone?

The easiest way to send an emergency text on iPhone and Android devices is to use the DialMyCalls mobile app.

You can access all the same features available on the desktop site, allowing you to send emergency SMS messages from anywhere.

How Do You Ensure the Security and Privacy of the Contact Information and Messages Sent Through Your System?

Our customer’s privacy and data protection is of our utmost importance. We will never sell, release, disclose, or distribute any of the information stored within your DialMyCalls account. DialMyCalls uses military grade 256 Bit SSL encryption as well as routine PCI compliance scans to ensure your information is stored in a secure environment.

Set Up Your Emergency SMS Alert System Today

Whether you’re a business, local service agency, or any other type of organization, an emergency text message system is crucial for staying prepared for urgent situations.

Fortunately, it’s simple and easy to alert your contacts immediately with a mass texting service.

To ensure the safety and well-being of your community, sign up for DialMyCalls today so you can notify them whenever a crisis strikes.

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