SMS Team Dispatch is a new premium feature for the Disaster Surveyor family of team management websites. After upgrading to a premium account, your “team” page will now display a button for “team dispatch sms” (figure 80). Clicking it will open the SMS Team Dispatch page (figure 81). 

Figure 80. The main “Team” management page.

Figure 81. The SMS Dispatch page.

  1. To send an sms dispatch text to your team members, select the team members from your list by checking the checkbox next to their name. Next, fill out the dispatch info you wish to send out in the form below the list of names (figure 82). These fields include: Event Name, Location to Meet At, Meeting time, and any short instructions that are sent to those who respond affirmative. When ready, click the “Send” button. 


Figure 82. Filling out the SMS Dispatch page.

Important Tips for sending SMS Dispatch:
  • The person you are sending an SMS to must have both a phone number and the “opt-in for SMS…” checked in their “account” page. 
  • First time users who receive a text from Disaster Surveyor will require their consent by texting “OPTIN” when prompted to do so. The very first permission request text will read: “Disaster Surveyor Alerts: Reply OPTIN to confirm receiving alerts from Disaster Surveyor. Text OPTOUT to end. Msg&Data Rates May Apply.” (Please note that we do not charge on a per sms/text basis, this is solely regarding the sms/text/data service your team member’s phone is using).
  • Please be sure that in the “Account” page, your team member has their phone number entered correctly. The first box is for the country code (“1” for US/Canada), and the 2nd bigger box is rest of the phone number.
  • If a user has already been sent an active Dispatch Event, the checkbox for that user is disabled until the events are reset by clicking the “Reset” button.
How Licenses Work for sending SMS Dispatch:
  • You can select as many people to send out dispatch SMS texts to as you have licenses, at a time. For example: If you purchased a 10 user license pack for your team, you can pick up to 10 people to send out sms dispatch to at a time. If you wish to use the same 10 licenses for more people on your team, you will need to pick another 10, after the first SMS is sent and so forth.
  • The total number of licenses available for your team is the sum of all paid licenses by team members of your team. For example: If you are the team leader and have purchased a 10 pack, and 2 others on your team also purchased their own 1 user license, you have a total of 12 license available for your team code for SMS Dispatch.
The SMS Dispatch Interaction is a fairly simple 3 step process:
  1. After you click “Send”, your users will receive a text prefaced with your Team Code, and to reply Y if available or N if not, for the Event Name, Meet Location and Meet time (figure 83).
  2. If the person enters “N” (or “No”), the unavailability will be recorded on the SMS Dispatch screen. If the person replies back “Y” (or “Yes”), the person is further prompted to enter a 4 digit time when they are able to report. For example: 0900 for 9:00am, 1330 for 1:30pm.
  3. After a person responds affirmatively and has replied back an arrival time, they are displayed the “Any Action to Take” message that you have entered. For Example: Any instructions for the person when reporting, things to bring, any precautions, etc.

Figure 83. A typical SMS Dispatch interaction.

SMS Dispatch Statuses can be viewed in two ways:
  1. Clicking the “Refresh” button at the bottom of the page will refresh the Dispatch list, and show a green indicator if the person is available, along with their estimated arrival time. If not available, a red indicator will display (figure 84).
  2. If you wish to print out the list of respondents, you can also click the “download dispatch replies” link to the right side of the screen. This will download an Excel file with the SMS Dispatch event details at top, and a list of all persons you have sent dispatches to for the event (figure 85).
  3. Please Note: Only persons who have phone numbers and have opted-in to receive your dispatch texts are included in the Excel download file.

Figure 84. Dispatch respondents statuses.

Figure 85. Excel file of Dispatch respondents.

  1. SMS Dispatch History can be viewed by clicking on the “Dispatch History” button on the main SMS Dispatch page (figure 86).
  2. To delete SMS history log, click on the “Delete” link next to the desired SMS log to remove (figure 86).

Figure 86. SMS Dispatch History page.

  1. Multiple sets of different SMS Dispatches can also be sent through the same interface. This may be useful when your team needs to be split up between multiple events. Simply send one set to one group of users, then send your second set to your other group without clicking “Reset” first. For Example: You may wish to pick team members 1 through 5 for Event A, then pick team members 6 through 10 and send out a dispatch for Event B. Please note that the Excel download for current dispatch responses will currently only work for the most recent SMS Dispatch event (figure 87).
  2. To reset and clear SMS Dispatch responses, click the “Reset” button below the form fields on the bottom of the main Dispatch page (figure 88).

Figure 87. Sending Multiple SMS Dispatch simultaneously.

Figure 88. Reset and clear SMS Dispatch responses.

  1. To check SMS opt-ins for users, click the “Toogle opt-in columns” to see the status of each of your users for SMS opt-in. For a user to receive your SMS Dispatch alerts, the “Web Opt-in” column should be “yes”, “SMS Reply Opt-in” should be “yes”, and “SMS Reply Opt-out” should be “no” (figure 89).
  2. The “Web Opt-in” can be changed in each user’s “Account” page with the “Opt-in to receive SMS…” checkbox. The “SMS Reply Opt-in” is when the user replies back “OPTIN” the very first time they receive an SMS alert from Disaster Surveyor. The “SMS Reply Opt-out” will be “yes” if the user has texted back “OPTOUT” to our system.

Figure 89. Toggle Opt-in Columns to debug User SMS Settings.