The Importance of Simplicity in Emergency Alerts

Some emergency alert systems are designed with simplicity as a priority.  Others were designed to have lots of features and may have sacrificed simplicity for the sake of added functionality. The best systems offer lots of capability while keeping their systems simple and easy to use.

Two recent news stories reminded us why the system should favor simplicity whenever possible.

First, there’s this story from Wake Forest, NC in which thousands of residents were called to notify them that they were behind on their utility payments and their power was scheduled to be disconnected.  Instead of the 232 folks for whom the message was meant, it went to almost everyone in town.  To compound things, a follow up message to try and clear things up went out as late as 1AM.

Then, there’s this story from Horry County, SC in which a message about a murder suspect was confusing, and missing important information.  As the story says, “About 110,000 people got the message that left out the specific location, the agency, and had the wrong person’s name.”

In both cases, the agencies involved said they would re-train their people to make sure proper procedures are followed.  And of course, that’s a good idea.

Another good idea is to use a system that’s so simple, mistakes are difficult to make.  Hyper-Reach uses a simple three-step process that makes sending a message a snap.  It’s so simple, that users of other systems tell us that it’s the easiest, fastest, simplest system they have seen.

We’re not claiming that no one has ever made an error using Hyper-Reach.  But we’ve been providing our system for the past 12 years, so we can say that our experience shows.


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