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.
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.
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.
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.