Standards for Emergency Notification Systems

Document Information
Full name: 

Minimum Standards for Emergency Telephone Notification Systems

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Emergency Telephone Notification Systems (ETNS) are fast becoming a necessary tool for public safety agencies nationwide. Large metropolitan areas and communities of all sizes have installed these systems to provide essential emergency information to their citizens. The National Emergency Number Association (NENA) believes acquisition and deployment of these emergency notification systems will only increase with today’s homeland security and domestic protection concerns.

For instance:

  • The United States Office of Homeland Security in its July 2002 Report titled National Strategy for Homeland Security stated that it “would pursue technologies such as ‘reverse 911’ which would call households” to provide information about vulnerabilities and protective measures.1
  • Emergency telephone notification systems started to take root in the middle 1990s for many reasons. Local public safety officials realized ETNS systems could effectively augment other notification methods such as sirens, NOAA Weather Radio, and broadcast announcements.
  • ETNS systems provided the ability to precisely target populations in specific geographic locations better than existing alternatives, particularly when ETNS systems were integrated with geographic
    information systems (i.e., digital maps).
  • The telephone, more than any other communications medium, allows officials to deliver specific actionable information that lets those in harm’s way know exactly what to do, what to expect, or what to look for.
  • The telephone is always on, providing the opportunity to reach nearly everyone within a target area either live or through voicemail.
Committee Information
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Operations – Standard Operating Procedures

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Standards for Emergency Telephone Notification Systems 300.13 KB