38 questions to select the best emergency response app

Several companies offer an alarm application. The applications are often for the emergency response teams, but also for lone worker protection, to initiate evacuations, initiating evacuations, monitoring technical failures, emergency buttons, etc.

The main function of such an emergency app is to get the right message to the right people quickly. Some emergency alarm apps also offer attendance registration, walkie-talkie functions, crisis management logging, lone worker solutions in the app, etc.

MultiBel offers two alarm apps with these features, a free version with basic functionality and MultiBel Professional, a modular solution that can be adapted to your needs. MultiBel is often used to replace a pager and/or walkie-talkie.

But without an overview of alarm apps, how can you choose the best application? do we (at MultiBel) often see in the statement of requirement?

If you’re looking for the best alarm app, it’s not that easy. What is the best for one person may be the worst for another. Hence, we have formulated 38 selection questions that will help you see what is important for your organization. Of course, we also recommend scheduling a demo and contacting reference customers.

Emergency response app

General questions regarding the emergency response app

  1. Is the purchase of hardware desirable or necessary? Or does everything go through the smartphone app?
  2. Can the emergency response app break through the silence mode in Android and iOS?
  3. Is it possible to enter scenarios in advance? Who belongs to which calamity? Can you scale up and/or forward alarms to a Private Alarm Receiving Center?
  4. Can a distinction be made in locations, functions, privileges of persons?
  5. How is the data management arranged? Can data management be linked to existing systems or is it only possible to load data with files? Are users allowed to update data themselves?

Redundancy of alarm app

  1. What methods are used to deliver the emergency notification? On a push notification in the emergency response app or is it possible to make use of telephone lines (mobile or fixed), email, SMS and a desktop alert.
  2. Is there, besides recording of alarm notification messages, also a possibility to use text-to-speech?

User friendliness of the emergency response app

Simplicity of use is of great importance in the event of a calamity, because no time should be lost. Users must have confidence that they are able to use the system. An emergency response app that works intuitively saves a lot of time and produces less stress than a complex system.

  1. Is it possible to receive a demo of the emergency response system?
    • with previously defined scenario’s
    • without previously defined scenario’s
  2. How many steps does drawing up and sending an alarm message consist of?
  3. Is the system simple/clear enough to send an alert with minimal training?

Time critical elements

Make sure that the supplier is able to send a large number of alarm messages regardless of the time of day.

  1. What is the capacity or the number of people that can be alerted simultaneously or within 30 seconds? Note, not only the maximum number of people you can enter, but also how fast the provider of the emergency notification app reaches those people. It is not uncommon to ask for proof / experience figures from the provider. And do those figures only apply to the app or also to telephony and SMS?
  2. Can several customers simultaneously send large alarm orders without this having a (major) influence on the speed? Can experience figures be submitted?
  3. Is there a real time overview of the responses of the alerted persons? Is it possible to send instructions to everyone who has responded?
  4. Can I easily send follow-up instructions to everyone who has responded?

Emergency response system technology

  1. How can an alarm be initiated? Only via the emergency response app or also via telephone lines, QR code, online, emergency buttons, fire alarm panel, etc.?
  2. Can the system share photos and video with others in addition to text and audio? Can employees or visitors also trigger an alarm and communicate with Emergency Response Teammembers?
  3. Is the alarm app available in Android, iOS and possibly Windows?
  4. How is the battery consumption of the Emergency Response app?

Reliability of the alarm app

  1. What is the guaranteed system availability (up-time) of the alarm app? Is there an SLA at all?
  2. Are different data centers that are geographically separated and redundant??
  3. What is the back-up policy?

Privacy of the emergency response app

  1. How does the provider of the emergency response app deal with personal data and the GDPR? Is there an ISO27001 certification? There are providers of an emergency response system with servers in the US, and put bluntly this means that your personal data ends up across the pond. Is that desirable? More information on this topical topic can be found here (in Dutch).

Extra emergency response app functionalies

  1. Is the emergency response app also an attendance app? If so, does the presence app only work with geofencing or also via WiFi, Bluetooth transmitters, schedules, etc.? Does the presence app also warn when it is understaffed?
  2. In addition to emergency notification, is there also the possibility to communicate? Bijvoorbeeld via een push-to-talk portofoon, conference call of chat?
  3. Some emergency response apps can do more than just sending emergency notifications? What are the extras offered? Think of a certified evacuation system, Critical Event Management, task cards, on call services, lone worker systems etc.

Customer Service

  1. Is the helpdesk reachable 24/7 and are they and able to provide immediate assistance?
  2. Is and will there be a contact persons available for the customer?

Implementation of the emergency response app

A clear point of contact with a good project planning is important for the success of the implementation.

  1. Who is the point of contact for the implementation of the alarm app?
  2. What is the duration of the implementation? How long does it take for the alarm app to be ready for use?
  3. Is there a projectplan/ timeline available for the implementation
  4. What is expected of your project team during implementation?
  5. Is training necessary? Is training material available? How does training take place (on location, online, webcast, etc)?
  6. Is there an evaluation after completion? Is everything running to your satisfaction?


  1. Which customers use the service and are they satisfied? What is the average review score?
  2. Can references be contacted?


  1. What is the duration of the contract, the flexibility in case of cancellation, etc.
  2. Are updates free of charge?
  3. Is a (free) demo of the emergency notification app available? Is the demo version tailored to your own organization? Can you also test the product for a period (free of charge) before you proceed to the full purchase?

We hope these questions help you understand what the best emergency response app is for your organization.

Contact us

Want to learn more about our emergency response app that is used to alert, inform and communicate?