People today are tied to their digital devices from the moment we wake up and check our email and social media accounts to when we fall into bed at night listening to our favorite tunes or podcast. While this can be annoying to some, mobile phones provide the perfect contact mechanism for local, state and federal government authorities who are attempting to reach a broad range of the population quickly in the event of an emergency. Emergency notification systems (ENS) provide high-visibility notifications directly to the mobile phone of your target audience, providing life-saving information when it is needed.
Building Your Crisis Communication Plan
It can be difficult to stop to think in the midst of a crisis, so it is important to have a detailed crisis communication plan in place before you need it. Having this strategy detailed in advance provides you with the confidence and peace of mind knowing that you know the precise steps you and your team will need to take in order to notify those in the vicinity of a disaster with information that is specific to their needs at that particular time. It also gives training guidelines to allow for productive team exercises to run through the steps in the event of a real-world crisis.
While it would be impossible to pre-determine all types of disasters and write scenarios for them, there are some general guidelines that you can follow to create an outline — allowing you to simply fill in a few gaps instead of starting a communication plan from scratch in the event of an emergency. Start by defining your various audiences, a sample message, detailing contact and information centers, and the various ways you can spread the word.
Value of Mass Notifications
Whether the crisis is a terrorist attacks, wildfires, tornadoes, evacuation orders or simply a closed office due to snow, mass notifications are the most feasible and economic way to provide an update to a large audience in only a few minutes. With nearly 95% of the world’s population using a cell phones and other mobile devices, according to the Pew Research Center, this communication medium is the ideal way to push notifications to a broad spectrum of audiences very quickly. Fewer people watch broadcast television than ever before, and while radio is still listened to by millions of people every day, unless your crisis happens during the commuting hours your reach will be significantly lessened.
Saving Lives and Reducing Property Damage
Knowing what to communicate is as important as how the communication occurs, which is why it’s important for emergency managers to review the free crisis communication plan template provided by OnSolve. Pre-populating these templates and having them ready to go at a moment’s notice can not only save property from being damaged in a fire or flood by providing rapid updates, but it could potentially save lives as well. Use this resource as a basis for your crisis communication plan and provide necessary training to your key audiences.
Learn more about the value of alert notifications from CodeRED from OnSolve when you request a free demo. Our dedicated staff will help you get started with a comprehensive crisis communication strategy that allows you to stay focused and act fast in the event of an emergency.
Every organization, whether it is in the public or private sector, needs to evaluate the risks that threaten the lives and property of stakeholders. Communication is a key element of any crisis response plan before, during and after an event occurs.Download The White Paper