OHS Magazine Advocates for Layered Emergency Communications

The 2013 edition of the National Fire Protection Association introduced the concept of mass notification system layers in an effort to ensure that emergency messages reach target audiences.

Four layers are detailed. Layer one includes leverage systems and equipment to notify people inside of targeted buildings. Layer two communicates to occupants outside of a building and/or near the exterior. Layer three alerts people of an emergency through individual methods such as text messages and emails. Layer four notifies people through public platforms such as broadcast, radio, television, and social networks.

The inclusion of social networks in layer four is notable in that it is a popular and modern method of communication among the general public.

The logic being presented for the multi-layered system of emergency communication is that reliance on one method of communication during an emergency could result in a large amount of people failing to receive relevant messages when they matter the most.