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Emergency Alerts App Guide
Instantly broadcast an emergency message across all of your screens.
In an emergency situation, digital signage is a critical communication channel for informing people about how to respond. ScreenCloud has a direct integration with emergency alerting systems like Omnilert and Singlewire, which allow you to automatically take over all screens, and cast an emergency message across campus.
With this app you can:
- Create an additional channel to send alerts to and specifically target employees disconnected digitally
- Send out alerts with the third-party alerts platform, skipping the need to access your Studio account and the app.
- Set alerts to display only on the space the instance has been created in.
Please note that this app comes free for non-profit and educational accounts, and it comes included with the Pro and Enterprise pricing plan. Please contact your customer success manager or our support team at firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish to acquire the app.
In addition, you will also require an account with a compatible Mass Alert Platform third-party platform, which we mention just below.
Here’s how it works:
Emergency Alerts is an app that acts as an extension of an existing Mass Alert Platform such as RAVE and Omnilert. When an event is triggered, the app receives a message via Common Alert Protocol (CAP), a digital format for exchanging emergency alerts, which allows a consistent alert message to be disseminated simultaneously over multiple communications pathways. This allows for the message to cast to all screens within an account’s space.
To use Emergency Alerts, you will be required to have an account with a third-party Mass Alert Platform or Mass Notification System (MNS). These mass alert platforms are the trigger points that automatically send notifications to the Emergency Alerts app to display on screen. There is no manual process to perform within Studio. Currently, we officially support Omnilert, Informacast (Singlewire) and RAVE, and we are working to increase this further.
This guide help you with:
- Selecting a third party Mass Alert Platform provider
- Creating and adding a Studio API key to an app instance
- Setting up new outbound channel using CAP in 3rd party messaging provider
Your alert system is then ready to go, with no need to add it to a schedule, playlist or channel. One app instance in your account’s space is all that’s needed!
1. Select your Mass Alert Platform provider
Please refer to each service's own setup and help documentation for setting up your alerts.
2. Create your API key in Studio
2.1. Head to your Studio account’s Developer page and click New Token.
2.2. Give your new API key a name, and scroll down to the Screen Permissions, and select the App, App instance, Screen, Site, Space, Token and Users options. Alternatively select Grant full access. Go ahead and click Create Key.
2.3. This will give you an API key, which you can copy with the copy icon button. Please store this key somewhere safe, as you will not be able to view this API key within your Studio account again.
2.4. Your API key is now ready to be used with an Emergency Alerts app.
3. Setup your Emergency Alert app
3.1. Search for ‘emergency alerts’ in your ScreenCloud account’s app store to find and Get the app.
3.2. When first creating the app, you’ll be greeted with the below. Please click Add a ScreenCloud API Key to begin your setup.
3.3. Add the API key you created earlier, and give this a name as well.
3.4. This is what you will see after you add the API key. In this window, all you’ll need to do is choose your Provider.
3.5. Once you select your provider, You’ll be provided with a Feed URL, a Username and Password. Each of these can be easily copied with the tap of the copy button. These links and codes are used to connect your Emergency Alerts app with your mass alert platform provider, which is covered in the next step.
4. Setup your outbound channel with CAP and your mass alert platform provider
In our example, we’ve been writing the name Singlewire, so this is the mass alert platform provider we’ll be connecting within our guide.
4.1. Singlewire’s casting service is InformaCast
4.2. To set up your outbound channel, head to the Outbound CAP tab under Outbound Systems so that you can create a new CAP Endpoint.
4.3. Set your CAP’s name, and copy and input the data which was created in the Emergency Alerts app in the earlier steps. You’ll also need to name the CAP’s Connection Configuration and Location afterward.
4.4. A saved CAP Endpoint will appear as below. Heading back to your Emergency Alerts app in ScreenCloud, go ahead and click save.
5. Casting your emergency alert to your screens
5.1. Your alerts and messages are created within your Mass Alert Platform provider. With Singlewire, these can be created with Message Templates.
5.2. Once you’ve decided what you want to display, click the notification’s send icon.
5.3. Select your outbound CAP as your recipient to connect with the Emergency Alerts app you set up. Clicking Send will activate the alert and cause it to cast your Emergency Alerts app.
5.4. Once an alert or notification is sent out from your Mass Alert Platform, all screens within the same space where the Emergency Alerts app is located will be casting the emergency alert warning.
i) This is how the app looks when it is casting in your Space
ii) Clicking the casting icon on the app will reveal to which screens it is casting. From this point you can remove the app from casting to a screen.
iii) If you go to look at your screens, you’ll see that each of them are taken over by the Emergency Alerts app.
iv) To cancel the app from casting you can click a screen individually or click the Casts app near the top to stop casting to all screens.
v) When you stop the app from casting, the little casting icon will disappear from in front of the app.
Frequently asked questions:
How long does an emergency alert stay casting on a screen?
Currently, the emergency alert has to be manually disabled within your ScreenCloud account.
Why hasn’t the in-config status been updated?
The status will only update after a new message has been sent, and will require the page to be refreshed.
Which are the Mass Notification System's that can connect with the app?
The current supported providers are Alertus, Omnilert, Rave and SingleWire.
My Mass Notification System isn’t on your supported list, what should I do?
If you have an MNS which we don’t currently support, contact our support team and we can investigate if it is possible to add your platform. We are constantly looking to increase our support of other platforms.
If you have any additional questions or feedback on using the Emergency Alerts app, please feel free to reach out to our support team at email@example.com.