Emergency Management Trends in 2018

Last year, major investments and advancements were made in communication technologies, both within the mobile space and the Internet of Things (IoT).

Additionally, we saw continued advancements in virtual reality and increased video conferencing. Unsurprisingly, social media platforms remain a viable contender in the way we communicate. As you consider how to improve your organization with better emergency notification and communication plans this year, take notice of how top trends can solve your biggest problems.

Making Waves With Mobile

While approximately 39.4 percent of households use both wireless and landline phones, only about 6.5 percent use landline only. As smartphones became more prominent over the past 10 years, trends have shown how quickly landlines were abandoned for updated mobile technologies. In fact, 65 percent of respondents in a survey by Virgin Business Media predict that landline phones will soon disappear altogether from every day use. Instead, we are increasingly dependent on mobile devices for communication. The key to communicating with the modern day population is via mobile.

As such, 78 percent of survey respondents believe mobile communications are a dominating factor in emergency communications. Finding a way to communicate across mobile channels involves a combination of texting, automated voice messaging, email, and apps. Knowing this information and following trends in communication can be key in planning emergency communication responses. Clearly, mobile devices and updated technology need to be incorporated to reach the right people at the right time.

Internet of Things Expedites Services

While the Internet of Things, or IoT, is popularly known for connecting household appliances to smartphones via the internet, it also creates infinite possibilities for drastically expediting emergency communications. For emergency management, configured IoT devices enable teams to accurately identify emergencies faster than ever before.

That same HVAC monitoring device that controls the temperature of a building can be linked to a local fire department, for example. If smoke or excessive temperatures are detected, the fire department will be immediately notified, shaving valuable time off of responses. This is just one way IoT will speed up emergency communication.

Social Platforms

The number of people using social media has increased from 5 percent in 2005 to 69 percent in 2016, according to the Pew Research Center. This is now the primary modality for communicating emergency information rapidly. Social media pairs well with mobile in connecting to communities during a crisis situation.

However, there is the risk of false reports and the inability to identify the social media platforms that your community uses most frequently. As an emergency management provider, this is one of your tasks for 2018, to better utilize social media to provide notifications in an emergency situation.

Bringing It All Together

In the New Year, it is important for organizations to continuously look forward at innovations and opportunities to incorporate technology to coordinate mobile communications. Whether it involves gaining a better understanding of the mobile usage of your community, most organizations can improve communication plans with their residents by staying up-to-date on trends in this area. Social media platforms, for example, continue to provide agencies with a direct line of communication with their constituents. Take time to listen and understand to how your residents want to receive communications so you can reach them in times of emergency

As for the Internet of Things, consider the possibilities this provides for your community. In addition to the nationwide public safety connection that FirstNet will provide, there will also be a push for devices that help first responders and other emergency officials in times of crisis. For example, think about the applications that a “smart” smoke detector could have in alerting a fire department of a fire in the middle of the night. These types of applications are literally life-saving and worth paying attention to as trends develop into more widespread solutions.  By connecting with local organizations involved in emergency response, you may be able to create your own type of IoT network to benefit your community with improved emergency notification.

Article Cover Top Six Tactics for Improving Your 2018 Emergency Notification Plan

Top Six Tactics for Improving Your 2018 Emergency Notification Plan

Emergency notification plans become out of date very quickly. With communities facing threats from severe weather to active shooters, it is clear that plans needs to be regularly evaluated and updated. When was the last time you evaluated your emergency response plan?

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