It’s that time of the year again when malls, shopping centers, and grocery stores are packed with customers shopping for gifts and goodies. The holiday season is a time that fills our hearts with joy to be around our friends and family; however, it can also have the potential to increase the risks of emergency situations due to the stress and emotions of the holiday season. The holidays are known for being a very stressful time. Sometimes this stress can be taken out on the people closest to you. For this reason, workplace violence increases during the months of November and December. Not only do organizations have an obligation to their employees, but they must also be concerned with their customers while on their property.
On the other hand, offices and university campuses can be found near empty. Most universities and schools will be closed for holiday breaks and many employees take off work for family time. However, this is no time to minimize your security and safety measures. In most cases, there will still be people on your educational or corporate campus.
Now is the time to ensure your mass notification system continues to notify and provide guidance to people. Whether there is an increase of people at your retail business or a decrease of people on your property due to vacations - the goal remains the same - and organizations need to remain vigilant to ensure timely notifications continue. Those who have to work continue to require effective communication.
Furthermore, there are many reasons why you should take some time this week and ensure your mass notification processes and capabilities continue during the holiday season.
1. Employees and staff often take time off during the holidays to travel or spend more time with their families and friends. Most organizations also give time off during the holidays which leaves buildings next to empty. With these buildings being empty, it leaves room for such crimes as burglaries and theft. Although some organizations invest in extra security through third parties, these groups won’t know the facilities or your communication protocols as well as your team. This could leave your organization susceptible to avoidable risks. Crimes or emergencies that require notification to impacted employees and/or decision-makers is still a requirement that needs to be planned.
2. Empty buildings can also be a positive for security teams. Because less people are in a building, or on a campus, this is a great time to test your mass notification system, communication protocols, and run safety drills. This allows you to practice and test not only your mass notification system, but you can also run exercises for different emergency scenarios. Running these exercises outside normal business hours provides access to every building without the worry of disturbing meetings or classes.
3. A large majority of the United States has to worry about severe winter weather such as blizzards and even ice storms. This concerns every single person at your organization. You want to ensure the safety of your employees, but you also want to continue to be operationally efficient. Using your mass notification system, you’re able to send different messages to specific groups telling them the exact information they need to know to keep your business running - and keep them informed when delays or closures are required for their safety.
Regardless of whether your organization is going to be at maximum capacity or near empty, you need to continue your security and safety measures. Download the Top 5 Emergency Message Templates to use in your mass notification system this holiday season.