With this being the last full week of September, National Preparedness Month (sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security) will soon draw to a close. So too will Send Word Now’s blog mini-series, designed to focus on FEMA’s “Ready” public education outreach campaign as it relates to business resilience.
In this post, we’ll address Implementation, the third step in developing a comprehensive preparedness program.
Implementation, as indicated on FEMA’s website, www.ready.gov, includes identifying and assessing resources, writing plans, developing a system to manage incidents and training employees so they can execute plans.
As a refresher, each activity is described below, with links pointing to additional, topic-related information, worksheets, templates, etc. for your reference and use.
Resource Management: Resources needed for responding to emergencies, continuing business operations and communicating during and after an incident should be identified and assessed.
Emergency Response Plan: Plans to protect people, property and the environment should be developed. Plans should include evacuation, sheltering in place and lockdown as well as plans for other types of threats identified during the risk assessment.
Crisis Communications Plan: A plan should be established to communicate with employees, customers, the news media and stakeholders.
Business Continuity Plan: A business continuity plan that includes recovery strategies to overcome the disruption of business should be developed.
Information Technology Plan: A plan to recover computer hardware, connectivity and electronic data to support critical business processes should be developed.
Employee Assistance & Support: The business preparedness plan should encourage employees and their families to develop family preparedness plans. Plans should also be developed to support the needs of employees following an incident.
Incident Management: An incident management system is needed to define responsibilities and coordinate activities before, during and following an incident.
Training: Persons with a defined role in the preparedness program should be trained to do their assigned tasks. All employees should be trained so they can take appropriate protective actions during an emergency.
While Implementation, the third step in developing a comprehensive preparedness program, is top of mind, consider how emergency notification technology can help your organization carry out the strategies identified in these critical areas.
Aside from the obvious – Emergency Response, Crisis Communications, Business Continuity and Information Technology – an Alerting Service like that provided by Send Word Now can (and should) support Resource Management by letting members of your organization add, maintain or update emergency contact information through a Self-Registration Portal.
It should augment Employee Assistance & Support measures with the continuous availability of an inbound bulletin board and/or integrated IVR through which callers can access general information or incident status updates.
The emergency notification service (ENS) should also offer an integrated solution for Incident Management, letting you communicate with individuals in the field in real time from a single dashboard, plus share event details through a central repository.
And, it should be so simple to use that designated employees can launch notifications without technical assistance. Of course, if help is needed, the notification vendor should be available 24x7x365 and provide a no-cost concierge service to send alerts on your behalf.