How to Send Emergency Text Alerts in 2023

April 11, 2023 (Updated) | By Sam Pelton
 Cartoon representation of various safety threats such as severe weather, a hazardous spill, and a power outage, with “warning” symbol and a smartphone

You know how inefficient email is.

And it certainly isn’t the best way to get out urgent information with any sort of confidence that the recipients will all see and read it in time.

Imagine a world in which you could instantly notify hundreds or thousands of people at once and be assured that they will actually see the message right away.

That’s the power of emergency text alerts.

Consider this:

  • 97% of Americans now own a cell phone (Pew Research)
  • SMS has an open rate of up to 98-99% (HIPAA Journal)
  • SMS enjoys an average response time of 90 seconds (GSMA)

People constantly check their phones, so it’s the best way to make sure urgent messages are seen as soon as possible.

Why Send Emergency Text Alerts

So what are emergency text alerts? And how can you use them to impact your business?

We’ll walk you through everything.

First, some definitions.


What Are Emergency Text Alerts?

Emergency text alerts are mass text messages sent to notify an audience regarding emergencies or time-sensitive information. Emergency text alerts are different from Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEAs) in that they come through as normal text messages, while WEAs are special notifications issued by authorized public safety officials.

What Constitutes an “Emergency”?

When it comes to emergency text alerts, an emergency isn’t necessarily something life-threatening.

But it does always involve something time-sensitive that needs to be communicated to a group of people.

Some examples could include:

  • Safety alerts
  • Cancellations and closures
  • Shift changes and needs
  • Last-minute meeting notices
  • Anything else that needs to be communicated last-minute

What Are Wireless Emergency Alerts?

Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEAs) are special public service alerts issued by government entities. These are separate from emergency text alerts in that they (1) can only be issued by authorized public safety agents, (2) trigger a unique sound and vibration on the recipient’s phone, and (3) don’t count toward the texting limits on the recipient’s plan (among other differences).

Text alert services can’t provide access to send WEAs. But emergency text alerts can accomplish a similar goal of communicating emergency or urgent messages quickly to a large number of people.

Emergency text alerts vs wireless emergency alerts

If you need some more clarity on how all of this would apply to your business or organization, check out the list of examples at the bottom of this post.

So now that you know what an “emergency text alert” is, how do you send one to your employees or other audience?

How to Send an Emergency Text Alert

Sending an emergency text message needs to be easy.

After all, by definition, time is of the essence. So you need a simple, user-friendly process.

The good news is that there are just a couple of quick steps you need to take in order to send out your emergency alert.

Pre-Step: Make Sure Everything’s Ready Ahead of Time

Scrambling is good when you’re making eggs, but not when you’re trying to send an urgent text.

In order to not be scrambling when the time comes, you need to make sure everything is set up and ready to go ahead of time.

This means:

Once you have your text alert account set up and contacts loaded in, you’re ready to go to shoot out a text blast whenever the need arises.

Step 1: Log In

In an urgent situation, you don’t want to worry about trying to remember your login credentials and dealing with password reset processes.

So make sure you have your login credentials saved somewhere (securely) for easy reference.

Then whenever you need to send out an emergency text alert, you can log right in.

We’d recommend logging into the mobile app during emergency moments since it’s a bit more convenient, but you can log in to the online platform as well.

Step 2: Select the Recipients

If you want to send to your entire database, simply select the “all” option and move on.

However, if your alert only applies to a small subset of your contact list, you can choose to only send to particular groups, or you can select specific subscribers.

select a subscriber

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set password visible

Step 3: Enter the Message

Once your recipient list is selected, all you have to do is input the message content and hit “Send.”

Your message will then go out immediately to your contact list.

(If you want to save even more time and skip this step, you can even set up message templates with pre-filled content ahead of time.)

You can confirm the success of your message by viewing your SMS delivery report.

Send a message

How to Set Up an Emergency Notification System for Your Business

“OK, sending a message sounds pretty easy. But what about the initial setup process?”

Good question!

Not only is sending the emergency text alert simple, setting up the notification system is easy as well.

All that you need to do is to sign up for a free account (you don’t even need a credit card to test it out).

If you can get your list of contacts into a spreadsheet, you can simply upload it into the platform with the import feature and they’ll all be added into your database.

That’s all! Once you do that, you’re good to go.

There are more options and features, of course, such as the ability to organize your contact list by groups or the ability to give your employees methods to automatically subscribe themselves.

So if you want a little more organization, you can go a bit deeper into the setup, according to your preferences.

Then once you’ve had a chance to test it out, you can select the best plan for your situation and upgrade at your convenience, whenever you are ready.

Easy-to-Use Emergency Text Alerts Maximize Efficiency

You need more efficiency in your business - we all do.

And specifically, you need more efficiency in your communication.

An easy-to-use emergency text alert platform brings the boost you need…

  • to maximize efficiency,
  • to free up your time, and
  • to get the most out of your time-sensitive alerts.

Go ahead and try it now for free - don’t worry; you can start testing right away, no personal info needed other than email.

(Also, check out the list of emergency text alert examples below, organized by industry.)

Industries that send emergency text alerts

Emergency Text Alert Examples by Industry

How can you use emergency text alerts for your business or organization, specifically?

Here are some tangible examples of ways different industries can take advantage of emergency text alerts to boost their communication efforts (and reduce hassle and stress!).

Emergency Text Alerts for Banks

Attention employees: Your branch will be closed today due to the inclement weather. Please log in from home and report to your supervisor during your normal scheduled time for further instructions.

System outage alert - Hang tight while IT works on the issue. They expect to have a fix within 30 minutes.

Emergency Text Alerts for Churches

Service is canceled tomorrow morning due to the expected snow! Instead, Pastor Jesse will be broadcasting a sermon live at 10am. Use this link to join: [link]

Youth group: Change of plans! The mini-golf course is closed for repairs, so we’re heading over to laser tag on 70th and O instead. See you there!

Emergency Text Alerts for Coaches

Due to unforeseen circumstances, I need to reschedule our consultation. I apologize for the inconvenience! Please use this link to reschedule: [link]

Our webinar software is experiencing some technical issues. Access today’s call here instead: [link]

Emergency Text Alerts for Construction

A thunderstorm is approaching the worksite. Please desist from work and follow safety protocols. Stay tuned for further updates.

We need more workers at jobsite F today! Are you available?

Emergency Text Alerts for Distribution

Drivers - Weather conditions are hazardous on I-80. Please proceed with caution.

We need someone to fill in for a load pickup ASAP. If available, please respond promptly.

Emergency Text Alerts for Education

Parents, students, and staff - Classes are canceled today due to the snowstorm. Enjoy your day and stay safe!

The performance tonight has been moved to the gym, due to an emergency plumbing issue in a bathroom near the auditorium. See you tonight!

Emergency Text Alerts for Fitness Centers

Aerobics class has been canceled as the instructor had a last-minute family emergency. Sorry for any inconvenience! We’ll pick back up on Tuesday.

Staff - Because of the road conditions, the gym will have a delayed opening this morning. Please come in to work by 8:30 and we will open at 9:00.

Emergency Text Alerts for Government

A parking ban has gone into effect until 10am for emergency snow routes. Please view the map here to see which areas are affected: [link]

Emergency staff meeting today at 9am. Please arrive early so we can get started on time.

Emergency Text Alerts for Healthcare

We need to fill a night-shift slot tonight on the 5th floor. Reply back if available.

Due to maintenance issues, please avoid the elevator at the south office entrance until further notice.

Emergency Text Alerts for Manufacturing

Staff - Please submit paysheets by 5pm today so that there are no delays in payroll.

In response to the predicted tornado conditions, there will be a delayed start for evening shift until the storm passes. The tentative start time will be 6pm. We’ll send another update as the time approaches.

Emergency Text Alerts for Non-Profits

Employees - We’ve decided to close the building tomorrow in observance of Memorial Day. Enjoy time off with your friends and family!

The meeting to discuss new consultation options has been bumped to 4:00. See you there!

Emergency Text Alerts for Online Businesses

Urgent website issue - servers are getting bogged down on the provider’s end and causing extreme slowness. IT is aware and actively working on the issue.

Last-minute Zoom meeting in 30 minutes. Please attend if possible: [link]

Emergency Text Alerts for Real Estate

Agents - Today’s safety training has now been made mandatory. Please come to the conference room at 3pm.

Agents and staff - Offices are CLOSED tomorrow due to predicted blizzard conditions. Work from home as able, or you may request a personal day.

Emergency Text Alerts for Restaurants

URGENT - We have several kitchen staff vacancies during today’s lunch rush. If available, please contact your supervisor as soon as possible.

Because of the expected volume of today’s work, employee evaluation meetings need to be rescheduled. Select your available times for a meeting here: [link]

Emergency Text Alerts for Retail

The system is currently down and IT has been notified. It should be resolved ASAP, hang tight!

Today’s employee forum has been canceled. New forum date TBA.

Emergency Text Alerts for Small Businesses

Slack is having technical issues. Please use Google Chat and email for internal communication until the problems are resolved.

The client schedule has been changed for today due to an employee illness. Please review and confirm the new schedule here: [link]

Emergency Text Alerts for Stock Alert Businesses

[Ticker symbol] is at [amount per share]. Target: [amount].

[Date] - Alert: [ticker symbol]; trade type: SHORT. Buy today at [time] if above [amount]. Target: [amount].

Emergency Text Alerts for Transportation

Drivers needed today on 2 different routes. Please respond as soon as possible if available.

A storm will be impacting multiple routes today. Exercise extreme caution when driving. See affected routes here: [link]

Emergency Text Alerts for Webinar Sales

Our webinar provider is having technical issues! Please join the webinar here instead of the join link previously provided: [link]

We have to reschedule today’s webinar. Sorry for the hassle! Sign up for a new time here: [link]

Emergency Text Alerts for YMCAs

The pool is closed today for maintenance. Apologies for any inconvenience!

Facilities are closed today due to icy conditions and stormy weather. We will reopen tomorrow at 5am.

Ready to give emergency text alerts a try for yourself?

Try it now for free and see how it can help maximize your business’s efficiency.

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Start sending mass text alerts to your entire list today!