Civil Unrest and Mass Shootings in the USA: Your Regroup Guide to Public Emergency Alerting

Civil Unrest and Mass Shootings in the USA: Your Regroup Guide to Public Emergency Alerting

In 2024, the United States has faced a staggering number of mass shootings, exceeding the number of days in the year. As of late June, there have been over 400 mass shootings across the country​​. This alarming statistic highlights the urgent need for effective public alerting systems to manage and mitigate these incidents.

Mass Shootings in the USA chart

Beginning in 2020, the US experienced a steep incline in the number of mass shootings, rising from 410 in 2019 to 605 in 2020. 

The numbers have remained over 640 a year since then, bringing us to a sobering number of 2,979 mass shootings from 2020 until July 2024.

The Growing Need for Emergency Preparedness

The increasing frequency and severity of these events underscore the urgent need for robust emergency preparedness and risk prevention strategies for government agencies responsible for public safety.

This guide explores the current state of civil unrest and mass shootings, offers insights into government resources and best practices, and highlights how Regroup’s mass notification solutions can play a pivotal role in safeguarding communities.

Human Impact: Tragic Incidents and Community Trauma

A tragic example of this ongoing issue occurred during the first weekend of summer 2024 in Fordyce, Arkansas, where Callie Weems, a new mom, was fatally shot at a grocery store. Weems, a nurse, was among four people killed and eleven wounded, including the suspect, in the shooting at the Mad Butcher store. She died helping another gunshot victim, showcasing incredible bravery in her final moments.

Just an hour before the shooting, 23-year-old Weems had been reveling in the joy of motherhood, marveling that her 10-month-old daughter, Ivy, had let her sleep in until 9 a.m. Her last conversation with her mother, Helen Browning, was a text exchange celebrating this small joy.

Just weeks before that incident, a significant event occurred in Akron, Ohio, where a mass shooting at a birthday party left 25 people injured and one dead. This incident exemplifies how quickly celebrations can become tragedies affecting entire communities.

During the summer of 2023, a series of mass shootings left a trail of grief and trauma across various states. 

From the heartbreak of families who lost loved ones to the bravery of survivors, these stories highlight the human toll of gun violence and the urgent need for effective intervention. 

Current State of Civil Unrest and Mass Shootings

The Gun Violence Archive reports that there have been more mass shootings than days in 2024, underscoring the persistent threat to public safety.

Civil unrest is also a growing concern. As the 2024 presidential election approaches, political violence and unrest risk escalate. An analysis by ACLED warns that heightened political tensions could lead to increased civil unrest, particularly in urban areas.

General Trends and Causes of Civil Unrest

  • Political Polarization: The 2024 presidential election has heightened tensions, with fears of increased political violence. The deepening political divide has made it challenging to address domestic extremism effectively.
  • Economic Pressures: The cost-of-living crisis, including inflation and unemployment, has driven many protests. Socioeconomic pressures continue to fuel discontent across various demographic groups.
Current State of Civil Unrest and Mass Shootings
  • Police Actions: High-profile incidents of police brutality have consistently led to widespread protests, often escalating into civil unrest.
  • Quality of Information: The decline in the quality of information and the rise of misinformation have exacerbated societal tensions, contributing to unrest.

These incidents and trends highlight the multifaceted nature of civil unrest in the United States, driven by political, economic, and social factors.

Regroup’s Mass Notification Solutions

Regroup offers a robust mass notification platform designed to enhance public safety during emergencies. These include real-time alerts, geo-targeted messaging, and integration with government alert systems like IPAWS.

Key Features

  • Real-Time Alerts: Ensure timely dissemination of critical information.
  • Geo-Targeted Messaging: Deliver location-specific alerts.
  • IPAWS Integration: Leverage FEMA’s Integrated Public Alert & Warning System for broad reach.
  • Community Reach: Expanding your communication reach to notify a broader audience during emergencies.

Expanded Community Reach

Regroup’s Community Reach solution helps you overcome the challenge of low sign-up rates for alerts, allowing you to notify a broader audience during emergencies. With comprehensive data access, you can reach more community members and keep them informed when it matters most.

Critical Benefits of Community Reach

  • Comprehensive Coverage: Gain access to a vast database that includes landlines, wireless numbers, business lines, and detailed mapping data for local areas. This helps you reach as many residents as possible.
  • Precise Geographic Targeting: During emergencies, use resident addresses to accurately target specific neighborhoods or areas so the right people get timely information.
  • Regular Data Updates: Keep your contact information up-to-date with regular updates, making sure your notifications are always accurate and effective.
  • Integration with GIS Maps: Use the provided addresses with GIS mapping tools to visualize and target specific areas within your community.

Government-Specific Use Cases

Civil Unrest Management

  • Real-Time Alerts: Notify residents and authorities instantly about protests or riots, providing instructions on safe areas and evacuation routes.
  • Geo-Targeted Messaging: Use geo-fencing to send alerts to specific areas affected by civil unrest, ensuring that only those at risk receive the notifications.
  • IPAWS Integration: Broadcast emergency alerts through multiple channels, including television, radio, and mobile phones, ensuring the broadest possible reach during civil unrest.
  • Community Reach: Use comprehensive resident data to notify a broader audience, overcoming the challenge of low sign-up rates and ensuring critical information reaches more people.

Mass Shooting Response

  • Immediate Notifications: Alert law enforcement and emergency services instantly and respond rapidly.
  • Automated Alerts: Set up automated notifications to inform nearby residents and businesses of an active shooter situation, advising them to shelter in place.
  • Two-Way Communication: This allows officials to communicate in real time, give updates on their status, and receive instructions from authorities.

Overcoming Communication Challenges with Regroup’s Solutions

Government agencies face immense challenges during crises, including communication breakdowns, coordination difficulties, and public safety threats. 

Regroup’s mass notification solutions are designed to address each of these challenges, ensuring that critical information reaches the right people at the right time. 

Agencies can enhance their emergency preparedness and response capabilities by partnering with Regroup and utilizing our advanced features for real-time alerts, geo-targeted messaging, and comprehensive data management.

Communication Breakdown

Regroup’s real-time alerts and multi-channel notifications ensure critical information reaches all relevant parties promptly, preventing delays and miscommunication during emergencies.

Public Safety

Geo-targeted alerts and automated message translation help deliver precise instructions to those in immediate danger, ensuring that language barriers do not impede the dissemination of vital information.

Coordination of Response

Regroup’s platform allows seamless integration with existing communication systems, facilitating better coordination among agencies and departments during a crisis.

Information Overload

Comprehensive reporting and data management features help agencies process and act on critical information efficiently, preventing information overload and ensuring informed decision-making.

Resource Allocation

Real-time updates and alerts help deploy resources effectively and when needed most, optimizing the use of available personnel and equipment.

Maintaining Order

Regroup’s systems support situational awareness and timely communication, helping maintain public order by providing precise and consistent instructions to the public.

Community Trust and Cooperation

The ability to reach a wider audience and provide accurate, timely information builds trust and encourages community cooperation, which is crucial during crises.

Technological Integration

Regroup’s integration capabilities with various platforms ensure agencies can leverage advanced technologies effectively in their communication strategy.

Preparedness and Training

Regular use of Regroup’s platform for drills and training enhances preparedness, ensuring that agencies and their personnel are ready to respond efficiently to any emergency.

Mental Health Support

Timely and clear communication helps mitigate the psychological impact of crises by providing reassurance and instructions, helping reduce anxiety.

    Types of Messages You Can Send Through Your Mass Notification System

    A comprehensive mass notification system can be used for more than just emergencies. Below are some examples of internal and external messages that government agencies can effectively communicate through the system, tailored for situations involving civil unrest, mass shootings, and routine communications.

    Emergency Communications for Civil Unrest and Mass Shootings

    Government agencies must be prepared to manage communication efficiently during crises such as civil unrest and mass shootings. Here are critical types of emergency messages that can be sent:

    1. Real-Time Alerts for Active Shooter Situations

    • Purpose: Inform law enforcement, emergency services, and the public about an active shooter situation.
    • Details: Use multi-channel notifications, including SMS, email, voice calls, and social media, to disseminate real-time alerts and instructions, such as shelter-in-place or evacuation orders.

    2. Evacuation Notices

    • Purpose: Alert residents and businesses about needing to evacuate specific areas due to imminent threats.
    • Details: Geo-targeted messaging ensures that only those in the affected zones receive evacuation notices, minimizing confusion and maximizing compliance.

    3. Shelter-in-Place Orders

    • Purpose: Direct people to remain indoors during civil unrest or dangerous situations.
    • Details: Send automated alerts with specific instructions on how to stay safe until further notice.

    4. Public Safety Announcements

    • Purpose: Provide updates on ongoing civil unrest or mass shootings to inform the public.
    • Details: Regular updates through all available channels help maintain public order and provide reassurance.

    5. Coordination Messages for First Responders

    • Purpose: Ensure coordinated response efforts among police, fire departments, and medical teams.
    • Details: Real-time communication through secure channels helps synchronize efforts and deploy resources effectively.

    Routine Communications

    Regroup’s mass notification system is not just for emergencies; it’s also a powerful tool for daily government communications. Here are some examples:

    1. Annual Compliance Training

    • Purpose: Ensure government employees complete mandatory compliance and ethics training.
    • Details: Send reminders and follow-up notifications through email, SMS, and internal portals to ensure all employees meet their training deadlines.

    2. Company Meeting Announcements

    • Purpose: Inform employees about upcoming internal meetings.
    • Details: Announce meetings via email and internal platforms, ensuring everyone knows the details and can attend.

    3. Leadership Changes

    • Purpose: Announce promotions or departures of key leaders within government departments.
    • Details: Use multiple channels to communicate leadership changes, preventing misinformation and ensuring all employees are informed.

    4. Office Moves or Closures

    • Purpose: Notify employees about temporary office closures or relocations.
    • Details: Send notifications via voice calls and SMS to ensure employees on their way to work are promptly informed about office status changes.

    5. HR Enrollment Periods

    • Purpose: Remind employees about annual enrollment periods for benefits.
    • Details: Utilize multi-channel notifications to ensure all employees receive and act on critical HR communications.

    6. Employee Surveys

    • Purpose: Gather feedback from government employees.
    • Details: Send surveys and follow-up reminders through various channels to maximize participation and gather valuable insights.

    7. Holiday Reminders

    • Purpose: Notify employees about upcoming holidays and office closures.
    • Details: Send targeted messages wishing employees a happy holiday and reminding them of any related office closures or operational changes.

    By leveraging Regroup’s mass notification system for these messages, government agencies can ensure effective communication, minimize misinformation, and enhance overall operational efficiency.

    Government Resources and Best Practices

    Preparing for Civil Unrest According to Marsh, organizations can mitigate the risks associated with civil unrest by implementing comprehensive risk assessments, crisis management plans, and employee training programs.

    Government Resource for Active Shooter Situations provides extensive resources on preparing for and responding to active shooter incidents. These guidelines are crucial for developing effective emergency response plans and ensuring public spaces are equipped to handle such threats.

    FAQ Section

    What is IPAWS, and how does it work with Regroup? IPAWS (Integrated Public Alert & Warning System) is a national system for local alerting. Regroup integrates with IPAWS to provide public safety officials an effective way to alert and warn the public about serious emergencies using approved systems that follow Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) standards.

    How does Regroup handle severe weather alerts? Regroup integrates with NOAA to automatically send real-time, location-based weather alerts to your team members across multiple channels, ensuring they stay informed and safe during severe weather events.

    What types of resident data can Regroup manage? Regroup can manage resident data, including contact details, addresses, preferred languages, etc. This data ensures precise and effective communication during emergencies and routine updates.

    How can residents sign up for alerts? Regroup provides easy sign-up tools for residents through online forms, mobile app registrations, and public outreach campaigns, making it simple for them to join your notification system.

    What is the benefit of automatic message translation? Automatic message translation ensures that all recipients receive alerts in their preferred language, breaking down language barriers and ensuring clear communication with all members of your community.

    Can Regroup’s public alerting system integrate with social media? Yes, Regroup’s system can integrate with social media platforms to extend the reach of your alerts, ensuring that important information is shared widely and quickly.

    How does Regroup ensure the security of resident data? Regroup uses advanced encryption and security protocols to protect all resident data, ensuring it is stored securely and used responsibly.

    What is ASL integration, and why is it important? ASL (American Sign Language) integration ensures that alerts are accessible to individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing, providing critical information in a visual format that they can understand.

    How fast can Regroup send out alerts? Regroup boasts the fastest message throughput, delivering 120,000 emails per minute, 80,000 text messages per minute, and 30,000 voice calls per minute, ensuring timely communication during critical events.