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Text Alert System: How to Send Emergency Text Message Alerts

An emergency text alert system for your business or organization can go a long way in preventing dangerous situations and keeping team members informed.

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As hard as we try to prevent emergencies, they still happen. And when they do, it’s best to be as prepared as possible. Efficient, quick, communication is the key to navigating emergency situations safely. An emergency text alert system can help you instantly get in touch with as many people as possible when you need to share urgent information.

Here’s an example:

Today 10:30 PM
⚠️ Emergency Alert: Tornado warning in this area until 4:00 a.m. Find a safe space to take shelter.

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What Is An Emergency Text Alert System?

An emergency text alert system is a piece of software that allows you to send mass SMS texts to large groups of people at once. Businesses, schools and other organizations use text alert systems to send critical alerts to employees, students, and members. Why? Because nearly everyone has a cellphone.

According to the Pew Research Center, 95% of Americans own a cellphone of some kind. In a dangerous or time-sensitive situation, the last thing you want to worry about is your message not being received. With a text alert system, your contacts do not have to install any special apps. Texts reach everyone, every time—no matter what device they have.

How to Send An Emergency Text Alert

Once you have your emergency text alert system up and running, it’s important to make sure anyone who may need to use it is properly trained in how to send out an alert. Luckily, it’s extremely easy and only takes a minute. Here’s how to send an emergency text alert using SimpleTexting.

The steps are as follows:

1. Sign up for text alert software

Try our text alert software for free for 2 weeks. We’ll set you up with 50 messages and a text-enabled number. No credit card is required to start.

2. Import any existing contacts

Do you already have a list of contacts who have given you permission to send them emergency texts? It’s easy to import them directly to our platform.

3. Collect more phone numbers

Even if you don’t have a list of phone numbers, our emergency text alert software makes it easy to collect numbers. Just add a web form to your site or invite people to text a unique keyword to your number (E.g. Text SCHOOLALERTS to 911-911.)

4. Send a test emergency alert text

Once you’ve got everything set up and ready to go, we highly recommend sending a test alert so that you contacts know what to expect in the case of a real emergency.

💡 SimpleTexting Tip: Interested in setting your business up with a short, memorable number like 911911? Our team can help you provision a dedicated short code two weeks faster than the industry standard. Our highly competitive short code pricing starts at $500/month and you can easily select between a random or a vanity short code depending on your needs.

Who Can Use Emergency Text Alerts?

If you have a group of people who you may need to communicate with quickly, then an emergency text alert system is for you. Here are a few specific roles that may benefit from this type of software:

HR Managers

Text alerts can be used to communicate with employees, staff, and remote teams. Send important updates that need immediate attention to your entire workforce at once. Don’t let another team member miss the insurance enrollment period again!

Today 10:30 PM
The fire alarm has been activated. This is not a drill. Please evacuate immediately. Do not grab your belongings.

Safety & Facility Managers

Inform a specific building or an entire campus about critical incidents by sending out an emergency text message alert. Warn off-site teams about possible risks or keep on-site staff aware of hazards.

Today 3:30 PM
There is a gas leak in building D3. Evacuate calmly. Meet in the parking lot outside building D1. We will send more updates by text.

Local Municipalities & Government

Inform residents or city staff about local emergencies such as power outages, blocked roads due to construction, and other hazards. You can also send out routine communications such as reminds about upcoming town halls.

Today 3:30 PM
Due to heavy flooding, city buses are not running. Stay indoors and seek alternate transportation only if absolutely necessary.

School Administrators

Student safety is of the utmost importance. With a text alert system, you can let students, parents, and teachers know about urgent situations such as severe weather, lockdowns, or building evacuations.

Today 3:30 PM
Wise Owl Middle School is on lockdown due to a bomb threat. Please check the sheriff’s website for updates. We will send an all-clear by text.

Sports Team Coaches

Few things are worse than showing up at the field only to find out that the game was canceled. Use an emergency text alert system to send text message alerts and inform team members about game cancellations or schedule changes.

Today 3:30 PM
This evening’s football game is cancelled due a tornado warning.

3 Tips for Implementing Your Emergency Text Alert System

You’ve sold your team on the benefits of a text alert system and signed up for an account with SimpleTexting (or another text alert provider). Now what?

1. Get as many people as possible to opt-in

The main benefit of a text alert system is that it can reach everyone at once. However, this is only the case if everyone you need to text has opted-in to receive alerts. If you already have your organization’s members’ phone numbers and permission to text them, you can import their info directly to our platform. If not, you can encourage people to sign up for alerts using either a keyword or sign-up form on your website.

2. Define when you will use it

Make sure you and your team are clear on what constitutes an alert-worthy emergency. For an IT department, it may be a network outage. For a sports team, it may be inclement weather. Not all emergency alerts have to be dire, but it is important to define what you’ll use your system for beforehand. This will make people take your messages seriously, and prevent unwanted or unnecessary messages.

3. Test your system periodically

It’s always a good idea to send an emergency alert test every so often. Not too often, though! Too many tests may become a disturbance and cause people to opt-out of alerts. Once or twice per year is enough to make sure everyone’s phone numbers are entered properly and to clean your subscriber list of people who may have left your organization.

Text Alert System FAQs

Are you ready to try our text alert software? Sign up for 14-day free trial. Still have questions? We have answers.
Yes! With our iOS and Android app, you can send your emergency alert to tens, hundreds, thousands, even millions of people at once.
As many as you’d like. When it comes to the number of messages you can send through SimpleTexting, the limit does not exist! You can send as many messages as you pay for as long as you abide by our Terms and Conditions.
Our emergency text alert system comes equipped with MMS (multimedia messaging service), which means you can include photos and other files directly into the body of your message.
If you’d like them to, yes. Incoming SMS messages are free and will appear in your Simpletexting Inbox where you can reply with templates a.k.a. canned responses.
At SimpleTexting, our 14-day free trial allows you to send out 50 SMS messages. That means you can send an alert to 50 people. With a paid plan, you can send as many messages as you’d like! There are no contracts, so you can upgrade to a higher plan as you scale your efforts.
Pricing is based upon the number of messages you plan on sending. Our plans start at a very affordable $25 per month for 500 outgoing SMS messages. Every plan includes a free text-enabled number, dedicated support 7 days a week, and unlimited opt-in keywords.

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