When implementing your critical communication platform, the importance of carefully considering your use cases cannot be understated. Not all alerts are of equal value to all people. Consult stakeholders, existing response plans, and other areas of the organization. Document the critical event and what the response should be.
Oftentimes when we think of the holidays, we think of the time off from work, school, and our other responsibilities. It’s a time that fills our hearts with joy to be around our friends and family. These times can; however, have the potential to increase the risks of emergency situations due to the stress and emotions of the holiday season.
Sending text emergency notifications to the population you are responsible for has become the default minimum standard for timely warnings. However, just sending text messages to your people during an emergency is not enough. Although the majority of people will have their mobile phones on their person, you can’t count on that one endpoint as the only means of notifying them in the case of an emergency.
The Fall Semester is underway and the buzz of back-to-school around campus has calmed down a little bit. Students and staff are more comfortable and familiar with their schedules and the campus layout. You and your Crisis Communications Team have reviewed your emergency communication plan - as well as held tests and exercises with the entire campus - and feel confident about your emergency plan. However, practicing and revisiting your emergency plan in alignment with your emergency notification system gives you the opportunity to see what tweaks or revisions you should make to your plans.
Immediately initiating your organization’s emergency response plans’ predefined series of notifications is essential in getting people to safety and minimizing the impacts of emergency situations. The reliability, speed, and accuracy of information are vital components in determining the effectiveness of emergency response. Crises like an unplanned outage, active shooter, or inclement weather all require the dissemination of accurate information at a moment’s notice.
Within the last several months, we’ve seen a number of news stories related to organizations of all different types sending out emergency alerts to their constituents that they didn’t mean to send. This has increased as more active shooter scenarios have made it into media headlines. In an effort to prepare, check, or even test emergency notification systems, organizations are accidentally sending out emergency alerts that are not identified as a drill or test. This might be a flaw with the organization itself or it may be a flaw with the emergency notification system the organization employs.