New Research Points to Need for Mass Notification Procedures

April 19, 2007
One-third of large U.S. organizations do not have notification procedures in place

Preliminary research from the research project "Converging Security Technologies: Physical & Information Security in Corporate 1000+ Organizations" indicates that many large U.S. businesses and organizations are not prepared to alert their people of imminent security issues or hazards.

Preliminary results of the security study, which is jointly presented by STAT Resources and Security Technology & Design magazine, indicates that one-third of America's largest enterprises do not have procedures or technology in place for mass notification. Still another half of respondents indicated that they have not invested in hardware or software systems to aid in mass notification. The researchers surveyed U.S. organizations with more than 1,000 employees for the project.

Those numbers may seem disappointing, and according to Dr. Susan Ellerin, president of STAT Resources, the reality is probably worse than that.

"There's a great deal of misinformation about what constitutes a mass notification system," said Ellerin in an interview with "It's not simply a loud speaker system. True mass notification systems involve a lot more than text messaging and intercoms. They involve integrated response to emergencies at every level of the organization."

Emergency notification procedures and technology have been a key focus in the investigation surrounding the mass murders at Virginia Tech. At issue was the fact that it took roughly two hours after the first dormitory shooting for school administrators to send an email message out to students and faculty warning them of the continuing threat to the campus.

The research is an early preview from the complete project, which is expected to be released in late summer.