Alert Cascade launches new accessible formats for public warning and informing services
With the Control of Major Accident Hazards (COMAH) Regulations 2015 coming into force on 1st June 2015, and the the Requirements of the Radiation Emergency Preparedness and Public Information Regulations (REPPIR) now focusing on communicating with the Detailed Emergency Planning Zone (DEPZ) surrounding nuclear facilities, there is an increased emphasis on communicating effectively with members of the public and local businesses.
Alert Cascade’s mass notification service provides two way communications via SMS text, email and voice calls, with customers being able to send messages using any or all of the available channels. The recent regulation changes mean that making sign up routes for receiving these free warning and informing alerts truly accessible, is now as important as the end message delivery. Recognising this, Alert Cascade have launched a new suite of sign up options, designed to ensure that their services are accessible to as many people as possible.
Russell Pearson, Managing Director of Alert Cascade Limited, commented: “Whilst there are no specific standards set out within the new regulations, it is clear that the emphasis is very much on proactive communication with local communities. With that in mind, we’ve added these extra options to help our customers use an integrated and inclusive communications strategy when offering warning and informing services to their local communities. We’ve always been confident that our mass notification services offer maximum flexibility, and allow customers to communicate with residents using the device and method of their choice, but residents will only know that if they’ve successfully registered in the first place. So, we’re taking the next logical step forward and improving the sign up process so that we can reach as wide an audience as possible.”
The new options provide accessible formats in the following ways:
Secure sign up form via a responsive website
Publishing information on a website gives users some control over their access to the information, as they can alter the font size, colour and contrast. Making the website responsive means residents can also access it on the device of their choice (desktop, laptop, tablet, smartphone, smart TV).
Adding easy read summaries to web pages
Easy read uses pictures to support the meaning of text. It was primarily developed for readers with learning disabilities, but can also be helpful for other audiences, for example people who are not fluent in English.
SMS sign ups
Although free internet access is now available to a large section of the UK population via libraries and other government facilities, residents who don’t have access to the internet should still be able to sign up for emergency alerts from their own home. With over 95% of the UK adult population now owning a personal mobile phone (not necessarily a smart phone), SMS sign ups ensure everyone has equal access.
Dedicated phone number with staff trained in communicating with disabled people
The telephone is still an important channel for disabled or elderly people. Residents with sight issues may be able to use a “Read Aloud” function on their website browser that will help them sign up online, but providing information only in a digital format will exclude sections of your audience.
About Alert Cascade Limited
The company specialises in a suite of software communication and collaboration solutions for Business Continuity, Disaster Recovery, Crisis Communications, Operations Management and Control Room environment.
Natural disaster, emergency incident, IT systems failure, product recall, the impact of terrorist or criminal activity, damage to reputation or brand-name; a crisis means different things to different people; what is common however, is the need to react and manage your way back to normality as quickly as possible. Many leading international and UK based public and private sector organisations trust Alert Cascade to provide them with ‘high availability’ secure applications that reduce the time between knowing about a mission critical situation and doing something about it.
Alert Cascade delivers solutions that have been used successfully in the aftermath of the Asian Tsunami disaster, during the 7/7 London bombings and for response, collaboration and recovery from factory fires, power failures, severe weather, IT-disasters, supply chain issues and numerous other incidents across the globe.
For more information about Alert Cascade’s products and solutions, please contact the sales department: