Backup Notifications

This week’s bulletin will cover what to do in an emergency when the system is still functioning, but your method of notification has gone down. It behooves integrators to have a backup plan in place for these types of situations.
Different scenarios may come up that you did not anticipate.  Different notification problem scenarios are coming up all the time, even for RCare.  Being prepared with a backup plan regardless of those scenarios will prevent catastrophes for end users that are left without a way to be notified of incidents.  Here are just some potential scenarios that may arise.
1)     Page encoder RFCD light goes on, but there’s no one able to get on site for a day or two.  End user will not have the equipment or know how, even with RCare’s help, to turn off RFCD feature.
2)     Page Encoder transmitter has stopped working – Pagers alone should never be your only method of notification.
3)     RCM Phone has a battery or charging port that has stopped working.  If there is no backup phones available (There should be), then an entire section or floor may be without a way to receive incidents.
4)     Network issues at facility with no IT – Network issues can bring down any notification method that requires access to the network including, dialers, RCM Phones, VOIP Intercom, SIP voice-to-voice, DLC’s, etc..  You may have RCM that communicates with IC-300’s and a redundant DLC backup, but if all of them are on the same network when they have issues, they’re all dead.

5)     Facility has storm or accident that causes power issues.  Integration device is not plugged into UPS (It should be) and the power supply has died.

1)     Have multiple methods on site

2)     Teach end users how to use web interface as a backup.  Ensure they have a web browser that allows “Beep on Active Incident” before install has been completed.  Beep on active incident can be found as a check box in the users tab.  You should create users for the facility with a limited range of accessibility.  Guest user should also have this box checked.

3)     Email or Email to text -This will allow end users to receive alerts while a permanent solution is in the process of being implemented.a.      First, elect Message Receivers

b.      Select Add new drop down box to select “Email”

c.      Then select “Add”.

d.      Adding an email should be self-explanatory.

e.      Email to Text – In the example below there is a 10 digit phone number with area code followed by @ and then the service provider domain.  Each service provider is different.  Here is a link to potential service provider domains.

f.      Message receivers will need to be added to Notification chain just like any other message receiver

Redundancy and prior proper planning will prevent most issues regarding notification method issues without too much down time.  It won’t however prepare for every situation.  This is where the web interface and email or email to text comes into play.  If the facility has rules against computer/cell phone use, the facility will have to determine whether their rules or their notifications are more important.  Nonetheless, ANY system that is functioning, but whose method of notification has gone down, can use these options in an emergency.  Awareness of these scenarios and solutions will help yourselves and your end users avoid panicking.