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Quick, reliable communication is essential for emergency services, especially when a major incident occurs. When an emergency occurs an organisation needs to be able to contact crews, get vital news to authority members, management teams and staff. It also has a duty to inform and keep businesses and residents up to date as well as provide the capability for the public to contact the organisation.
During crisis management, and for business continuity, SMS text messaging can allow emergency services to contact the relevant people, as well as a large database of people, quickly and easily, thanks mainly to its availability, ease of use, instant connectivity and wide adoption.
An SMS service can also be set up and integrated into existing systems, such as CRM, to help disseminate information to a large database of subscribers. This is useful for emergency services to keep the general public informed about issues that may affect them in their particular area, such as severe weather warnings, road closures and traffic conditions or even terrorist threats.
Text messaging also enables public service companies to provide a means of communication for deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired members of the community. This addresses regulation outlined in the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) which came into force in October 2004. The Act requires that those who provide a service to the public make their services reasonably accessible to disabled people so that they can share the same level of goods and services provisions as the able-bodied.
There are numerous ways that SMS messaging can be exploited to improve communication for emergency services:
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