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The Importance of “Opting In” on Community Participation in Public Safety

Genasys Protect ALERT is a new technology for a new era of public safety. This critical component of the Genasys Protect platform encourages community engagement with a public-facing mobile app and website through which community members can monitor conditions in their area during both emergency situations and non-critical events.

by Richard Danforth, Genasys CEO

Hindsight gives us an appreciation of how far we’ve come with technological innovation and the new ways of working that innovation enables. Payphones seemed pretty convenient – until cell phones came along. Public libraries and card catalogs were very helpful – until we had Google. And, speaking of Google, we’ll likely say the same about search engines once generative AI models come a little further along. Rather than merely trivial advances, these game-changing innovations are making our lives easier, more productive and even safer.

We can apply that same perspective to legacy mass notification solutions. Yesterday’s technology was good, but today’s advances in Protective Communications solutions have truly moved us into a new era. This applies to the public engagement aspect of Protective Communications, where innovation is making it easier for emergency response agencies to build trust with the public and get them invested in the agencies’ efforts to keep everyone protected. And that payoff can truly be life saving.

Genasys Protect ALERT Helps Emergency Response Agencies Keep People Engaged in Public Safety

We understand the vital role community engagement plays in public safety. We built Genasys Protect ALERT, the emergency alerting component of our Genasys Protect suite of software and systems, to maximize the public’s investment in their own protection. 

There are two components to building trust and engagement: meeting people where they are; and consistently providing each person with clear and specific information that is relevant to them. Let’s take a closer look at how Genasys Protect ALERT approaches each of these.

Meeting people where they are means being able to send actionable information as necessary across all of the most-used communication channels and having current information at the ready on public-facing assets like our website and mobile app. Here’s how it works: With Genasys Protect, community members or visitors to your area can receive alerts through the convenient mobile app, available on both Android and iOS. They can opt in to follow alerts and emergency updates for their location and even follow updates to selected areas of interest. For added convenience, they can track alerts, warnings and updates from any web browser through https://protect.genasys.com.

This makes it simple for the public to check the status of both critical and non-emergency situations whenever they want, an essential aspect of community-building around public safety. Both our website and mobile app feature easy-to-navigate, intuitive map based user interfaces that make retrieving relevant information and monitoring changing circumstances effortless. 

Pushing relevant and timely notifications tailored to each recipient is a multifaceted challenge that demands the new generation of emergency alerting technology that Genasys has brought to market. Our flexible and intelligent zoning capabilities allow emergency managers to segment the communities they are protecting by geography, topography, population density, or any of a variety of other criteria. The result is a granular ability to differentiate messages by location or other delineators to ensure alerts are relevant to each recipient. Alerts are then distributed across email, text (SMS), social media, phone, television, radio, digital signage, and, of course, our website and mobile app. Genasys Protect ALERT delivers notification saturation, designed to ensure each alert is received by the intended audience. By consistently delivering the right message to the right people at the right time, community members view emergency response agencies as trusted caretakers and sources of authoritative information.In addition to our mobile app and public-facing website, the Genasys Protect platform also features acoustic devices that provide highly audible voice messaging over long distances via remotely operated and independently powered loudspeakers. (You can learn more about our Genasys Protect Acoustic Devices in the first of our series of posts covering National Preparedness Month.) Taken together, the emergency alerting capabilities of Genasys Protect and the products comprising the platform are unrivaled in the industry.

An Engaged Community Is a Better Prepared Community

Preparation is the key to protecting people in the face of extreme weather, natural disasters, infrastructure failures, and any other unexpected event. When an emergency arises and minutes and even seconds are precious, better preparation can result in a more orderly response, which in turn can make the difference between lives saved and lives lost.

When the community regards its emergency response agencies as trusted guardians of public safety, people are more likely to turn to these agencies to understand current conditions and seek out specific instructions when their safety is threatened. We provide the tools public safety officials need to engage the community with always on, no opt in required. The more people who are engaged with emergency response agencies, the more efficient emergency responses will be.The bottom line is that we’re all in this together. When we take an active role in our safety and protection, the outcomes are better all around. Genasys remains committed to building engaged communities and making sure we are all ready when it matters.™