The answer is yes. Every organization is required to have a crisis communications & action plan. The first minute of an emergency is the most important. There is no second chance to get the first minute right. That is why it is essential to plan and prepare in advance and be ready to execute your communications plan for any and all emergency situations.
Organizations are required to develop structured plans for the different types of emergencies possible within their place of work or play. Each organization is different and each has their own unique needs, so each communications and action plan is different for each organization. Along with planning the actions to take during each different type of emergency, organizations are also obligated to set what procedures should be followed afterward. When an emergency happens, you don’t have time to think about what you should be doing. Your plan should be clear and concise with exact directives, actions, and responses.
Along with plans and actions for possible emergency scenarios, your communications & action plan should also contain the ways you will coordinate with groups at your organization, as well as with local EMS and police. This helps clarify who should be reached for each situation. When things get hectic, you don’t have time to make up a list of who to call. Your communications & action plan has it laid out for you.
Furthermore, organizations are required to bring those plans and actions to life by implementing timely notifications to employees, patrons, and visitors; allowing your communications & action plan to be truly actionable. An emergency notification system does just this; giving you the ability to input each of your procedures and action responses for each planned scenario as well as, create and send messages and alerts to specific groups who need to be receiving it. The ability to initiate messages or response actions to more endpoints than just a text message or an email helps to ensure you reach your people no matter where they are and what they are doing.
To learn about best practices for critical communication & action plans, download the article Critical Elements of Crisis Management by Bob Jensen, Senior Managing Director at Strat3, LLC.