Survey Reveals Real-World Applications and Challenges with Crisis Communication Systems & Emergency Response Plans

Emergency communication tools and response protocols are critical to public safety, disaster recovery, and business continuity whenever crises arise.

While public and private entities can have different needs whenever emergencies occur, understanding how they respond, how they leverage technology, and the challenges they face during these times is integral to identifying:

  • The current trends shaping critical response actions and plans
  • The opportunities for refining response protocols, crisis communications, and emergency plans
  • How your organization compares with industry peers.

To this end, OnSolve recently conducted the biannual Crisis Communications & Emergency Notification Survey. Overseen by research firm Disaster Resource Guide (DRG), this survey included nearly 500 emergency decision makers in the U.S. public and private sectors.

The findings uncover important insights about organizations’ emergency concerns, how they respond to and implement technology in crises, and where there is room for improvement. Here’s a look at some of these findings.

Crisis Communications & Emergency Notification Survey Results Released

OnSolve and Disaster Resource Guide have released the results of their recent survey on how organizations are managing their crisis communications and leveraging notification technology.  Download Now »

Key Findings: Response Scenarios

In terms of emergency scenarios that require immediate response and mass communications, respondents were asked to rank their top concerns among different scenarios.

Analyzing the responses for combined rankings, the survey found that severe weather events – like storms and hurricanes – are, by far, the leading concern, coming in with a 75% weighted average.

Trailing that by at least 20% are cybersecurity attacks, active shooters, IT outages, and workplace violence, which were all ranked within 2% of each other (from 55% to 53%, respectively).

These findings seem to align with the fact that severe weather events can have far more expansive impacts, affecting multiple organizations, communities, and/or states when compared to the other more-localized and potentially fewer common scenarios (like, for instance, workplace violence, which is more likely to affect a single organization or discrete sectors of a community).

Key Findings: Response Plans

Respondents were also asked about the types of emergency response plans they have in place and how often these plans are updated.

Nearly 9 in every 10 respondents stated that they have response plans in place for severe weather events. Given that weather events were identified as the leading concern for response scenarios, this finding makes sense.

What may be shocking, however, are the findings regarding the lack of emergency response plans for certain scenarios. In fact, the following shows how many respondents stated that they have no emergency plans in place for the given scenario:

  • Active Shooters – 30%
  • Workplace Violence – 24%
  • Cyberattacks – 16%
  • IT Outages – 13%.

This is particularly surprising considering the above-noted fact that more than 50% of respondents did express strong concerns about these crisis scenarios and the need to immediately respond to them.

Key Findings: Opportunities for Improvement

Although nearly 2 in every 3 respondents affirmed that their organization uses an emergency mass notification system (EMNS):

  • More than 10% were unsure about how frequently their organization tested their EMNS
  • 51% only use their EMNS for emergencies
  • More than 10% never use EMNS to notify their workforce regarding cybersecurity and/or business continuity incidents.

These findings suggest opportunities for:

  • Implementing and/or improving EMNS testing protocols
  • Conducting additional training and/or taking advantage of provider consultations to assure EMNS is always working optimally and that key staff know how and when to test it and use it
  • Expanding uses of EMNS so organizations can more fully utilize and benefit from this powerfully dynamic technology.

Along with these key insights, this survey contains more crucial information regarding the uses and issues surrounding EMNS, response plans and protocols, and more. To dig deeper into this survey’s groundbreaking findings, download a free copy of the full survey report.

Results Cover Crisis Communications & Emergency Notification Survey Results Released

Crisis Communications & Emergency Notification Survey Results Released

OnSolve and Disaster Resource Guide have released the results of their recent survey on how organizations are managing their crisis communications and leveraging notification technology.  

Download The Survey Results