Citizen Notification vs. Emergency Notification - What are the differences?
As a local government, you want to ensure the safety and well-being of your community. A notification system can help quickly inform citizens of potential dangers or urgent information. However, not all notification systems are the same. There are two types of notification systems: a citizen notification system and an emergency-only notification system. In this blog post, we will explore the benefits of both systems and why a local government should have both.
What is an Emergency-Only Notification System?
An emergency-only notification system is designed to alert citizens in the event of an imminent danger or disaster. For example, if a hurricane is approaching, the system will send out alerts to residents in the affected area to evacuate. The goal of an emergency-only notification system is to communicate critical information as quickly and effectively as possible.
Advantages of an Emergency-Only Notification System
- Quick Communication: During an emergency, every second counts, and an emergency-only notification system can quickly and effectively communicate important information to residents.
- Focused Messaging: By focusing solely on emergency information, residents are more likely to pay attention to alerts and take the necessary actions to stay safe.
What is a Citizen Notification System?
A citizen notification system is a broader system that provides citizens with important information that may not necessarily be an emergency. This can include notifications about road closures, water outages, or community events. The goal of a citizen notification system is to provide residents with important information about their community.
Advantages of a Citizen Notification System:
- Increased Community Engagement: A citizen notification system allows you to communicate important information to residents even when it's not an emergency. This can help increase community engagement and encourage residents to participate in local events and activities.
- Better Preparedness: By providing citizens with information about road closures, water outages, and other non-emergency events, residents can better prepare for potential disruptions to their daily lives.
- Improved Public Perception: A citizen notification system demonstrates a commitment to transparency and proactive communication, which can improve public perception and trust in local government.
- Cost-Effective: Citizen notification systems can be a cost-effective way to communicate with residents. By providing updates on non-emergency events, there may be a reduced need for expensive emergency notifications.
- Mobile: Many citizen notification systems include a mobile app branded for the local government. The mobile app provides a hub of information for citizens.
Why Have Both Notification Systems?
While an emergency-only notification system is crucial for alerting residents of imminent dangers, a citizen notification system can provide a range of benefits that go beyond emergency situations. By implementing both systems, local government stakeholders can ensure that residents receive critical information during emergencies while also receiving updates about non-emergency events.
For example, during a power outage, an emergency-only notification system would send alerts to residents about safety concerns and restoration times. In contrast, a citizen notification system could provide updates about cooling centers, food distribution centers, or other resources available to residents during the power outage.
In conclusion, a local government should have both a citizen notification system and an emergency-only notification system. By having both systems, local government stakeholders can ensure that residents receive critical information during emergencies while also receiving updates about non-emergency events. This can increase community engagement, improve preparedness, and demonstrate a commitment to transparency and proactive communication. Schedule a demo to learn more about Citizen Notifications from GOGov.