Emergency Notification Systems

Document Information
Full name: 

Wide Area / Statewide Emergency Notification Systems Operational Information Document

Document type: 


Standard number: 


Document description: 

This document is intended to be an informative guide and resource for the public and private sector in understanding the nuances and challenges of wide area/large area emergency notification systems and their various uses. It serves to provide information on the differences in the range of these increasingly popular emergency notification systems as a key public safety, emergency communications and emergency management information tool. It is also intended to provide substantive information on the goals and objectives of these systems, and the importance of clearly understanding how these systems may be used, as well as identify (often) overlooked responsibilities of the host agency/system administrator in appropriately specifying, using and managing these systems.

This document contains a variety of strategies, points for consideration, and other operational guidance related to Wide Area and/or Statewide Emergency Notification Systems (WA/S ENS). Used hereafter, the terms Wide Area Notification, Statewide Emergency Notification, and Large Area Emergency Notification are used interchangeably.

NENA received information from commercial vendors and practicing members regarding what was believed a “serious disconnect” between what public safety agencies were seeking to purchase and the intended/eventual use of a wide area/statewide emergency notification system. In some instances the solicitation generated by the requesting agency would contradict the end-purpose for which the purchased solution was eventually used. Understandably, the end results were less than desirable and, in some cases, resulted in threats of lawsuits, non-response by vendors to solicitations, loss of jobs, wasted resources, and other negative (unintended) effects.

Because of NENA’s success in establishing operational standards for Emergency Telephone Notification Systems (ETNS) and the positive comments received about the ETNS Standards Document1, NENA agreed to form a working group to research the issues related to wide area/statewide emergency notification systems and, where appropriate, make cogent comments/suggestions in the form of an operational information document. A working group was formed and assigned a specific charge of responsibility.

Committee Information
Committee Name(s): 

Operations – Standard Operating Procedures

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Emergency Notification Systems 332.69 KB