If the first major hurricane of the season caught your business by surprise, you need to act quickly to remedy the situation for future storms. Hurricanes are not spur of the moment “pop-up” storms. Thanks to innovations in technology over the past 50 years, we are able to estimate when a hurricane will hit land, the strength of the storm, and the direction of its path. Of all of the recognized crises, hazards, and exposures your business can face – hurricanes have the most advanced warning. Having this knowledge gives you time to better prepare your people, your home, and your business.
Fall is an extremely busy time for schools; not only are there new students, faculty, and parents to add or register as emergency notification recipients, but there’s also the possibility of new safety or security personnel to train on emergency response policies. Although it takes time and energy to prepare your pre-planned communications for your organization’s specific needs and policies, you should create a monthly or quarterly schedule for yourself - and your team - to verify and improve specific details pertaining to your emergency notification system (ENS). This allows you to stay ahead of the curve and not feel overwhelmed with your emergency notification system checks, tests, and improvements.
It’s not just universities that have multiple campuses or facilities. Organizations with multiple facilities face many challenges when it comes to safety and security. It can be a challenge to ensure emergency communications at one facility, but it’s an even bigger challenge when it pertains to multiple locations, multiple personnel groups, multiple endpoints, and multiple integrations. Additionally, keeping your colleagues safe from harm can be difficult to manage due to overlapping responsibilities or poor communication. Every facility has different safety needs and it is often up to the operations and safety manager to make the call on what to do when things start to go sideways.
Safety isn’t simply a state of being. Safety is a way of life and a goal that each of us strives to reach - for ourselves, our families, and our employees or staff. All organizations have a responsibility to be prepared for any emergency scenarios that could impact their people or property.
As we discussed last month, the goal of any critical communication plan is to reach as many members of your community as possible with most organizations still emphasizing communication methods like text messaging or email. Reaching your audience directly is usually perceived as the most effective form of communication. The biggest barrier to effective direct communication is the collection and maintenance of personal contact information.
Safety preparation at your organization goes far beyond simply having an emergency notification system (ENS). You need to ensure that you’ve prepared your ENS for any crisis situation that might impact your organization. On top of that, each individual — whether it be your critical communications team, staff and employees, students, or visitors — must understand how and why they will be receiving alerts and what to do with the guidance they receive. Ensuring your staff and employees are confident in their knowledge and abilities is a key part of emergency preparation.