Emergency alerts are one of the most important things you can implement to ensure the safety of your employees, students, and even the public. Triggering Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) and Emergency alerts on digital signage streamlines your communication platforms. Emergency communication systems or CAP systems have become a standard requirement for many schools and other organizations with groups of people in one location. Many government agencies are passing mandatory alert system laws or Alyssa Law that will be implemented in the next few years. NOTE: Arreya is not CAP compliant, but integrates with third party systems that are compliant. More on CAP standards
Partnering with Your Mass Communication System
Third party mass communication systems or mass notification systems have developed greatly over the last few years, and many systems have a multitude of ways to trigger notifications, and distribute the notifications to many platforms including mobile devices, desktops, and digital signage.
Arreya supports common forms of alert triggers via standard web protocols that make integration with most mass notification systems like Alertus and Singlewire Informacast straightforward. Numerous types of alerts with varying levels of severity and messaging can be triggered through third party systems. Arreya has the ability to receive messages from the system, and relay them to an entire Arreya account, or individual channels. Each device paired to a channel being targeted by an alert, will have the content overtaken by a customizable message.
Arreya’s messaging API allows a mass notification system to programmatically change the message, colors, icon, animation, and timing of the notification that appears on each screen. The messaging API also accepts a Common Alerting Protocol message, abbreviated CAP. Your Arreya service, when triggered, will pull information from the CAP message and change into the Arreya alert message format you have specified.
Triggering Your Emergency Alerts
There are a variety of methods that can be utilized with your Arreya account to trigger emergency alerts across your channels. As an IOT or internet of things, it will trigger your Arreya devices to show the alerts instantly. Emergency communication systems have a variety of supported methods, so be sure to check your system’s documentation and accompanying documentation from Arreya.
- HTTP POST/GET
Most Alerting systems can send a HTTP POST or GET request to a specific Arreya channel, or entire account when an alert is issued. This will trigger a notification to take over the screen for a desired time period, or until the notification is canceled and followed up with another HTTP POST or GET request to clear the notification.
- CAP/XML POST
CAP, or Common Alerting Protocol is a standardized messaging format for alerts that defines common attributes for an alert and is designed for interoperability across many platforms. The CAP message, in the form of XML data, can be sent to an Arreya channel or account alerting devices paired to the channel. Arreya will generate an alert based off of the fields in the CAP message.
Using the RSS widget in the Arreya creative studio, inputting a RSS/XML feed URL will automatically check that URL at a regular interval, and will only display data when there is a message in the feed. This is a common way for some mass communication systems to provide users and other applications a URL they can watch for notifications to be posted to. This method checks at regular intervals, and is different from the previous methods which push a message to another service.
Checking Your System Compatibility
There are a few important considerations for a successful and reliable integration with Arreya and your emergency and mass notification systems.
- MATCHING INTEGRATIONS. Make sure you choose a mass notification system that meets your needs as an organization and will integrate with other software. There is a wide range of mass notification systems available, but if you want to be able to integrate with any cloud based system like Arreya, it will most likely need to be a cloud based system as well.
- SCALABILITY. Other things to consider while researching a mass notification system is whether it scales well to your needs, can send notifications to the platforms you require, and be triggered from your commonly used platforms like through a web interface or on a mobile device. Many mass notification systems also integrate with weather services to relay important weather alerts that are targeted to your location.
- INTERNET. Make sure you have a reliable internet connection to your devices. Most modern mass communication systems have cloud based options, or are moving towards cloud infrastructure and communication over standard web protocols. This means that you need a reliable internet connection for not only the digital signage to work well, but also the alerting system overall.