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How Prepared is Your Organization’s Mass Notification System?

You’ve taken the first step by adopting a mass notification system that’s designed for you to help keep your people safe and informed of emergencies. Aligning your system with your emergency response and action plan is next on the list. As September is National Preparedness Month, it’s a great time to reflect and exercise your organization’s ability to notify, respond, and recover in a critical or emergency situation.  Now is the time to test your emergency or mass notification system.


Communication and information are essential tools in getting people to safety and minimizing the impact of critical situations. The reliability, speed, and accuracy of information are vital components in determining the effectiveness of your mass notification system. Crises like an unplanned outage, active shooter, or inclement weather all require the dissemination of accurate information at a moment’s notice. The success of your emergency response depends heavily on your preparation.


When it comes to sending an emergency notification, knowing what you are going to say is absolutely essential. When crises arise, you don’t have the time to stop and write a message and then decide who at your organization should receive what information. These communications need to be planned ahead of time. Doing so will provide you with two primary benefits. First, you will save time during a crisis by getting information out quicker and easier; allowing you to move on to other responsibilities. Second, the preparation allows the messages to be crafted and evaluated for maximum readability and immediate comprehension.


When you need to deliver critical messages during a critical event, make sure they’re already in the queue. Pre-written and pre-approved mass notifications save time, communicate clearly, and prevent panic.


In recognition of National Preparedness Month, here are three considerations in preparing your communications to ensure they are easy to comprehend and are actionable:

 

1. Create pre-planned and pre-scripted templates

When an emergency actually happens emotions run high and in that stressful time there might be errors made when writing a message from scratch - and hoping to capture all the important facts in it. Creating these pre-scripted communications can help save you time and be as precise as possible.

 

2. Your communications should be precise and time sensitive

You don’t want any confusion when you launch a mass notification. Your goal is to reach as many people as possible and make sure each of those people understands exactly what actions you’re giving them to follow to ensure they stay out of harm’s way. Adding the name of your organization in the notification, as well as a timestamp, helps to convey that it is a current situation and the instructions should be followed immediately.

 

3. Break your organization into groups

Doing this helps you send more detailed and more specific messages to those unique groups. It also allows you to control the situation at hand more closely. For instance, you can send a different communication to your security team providing them with detailed information to help them respond more effectively. Everyone needs to be notified and provided with guidance; others require more detailed information and/or access to other resources for effective response and recovery.


Use these Top 5 Emergency Notification Message Templates to make sure your organization, and your mass notification system, has a jump start on preparations and communications for specific emergency situations.

 

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