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Things You Didn’t Know Your Emergency Notification System Could Do: Desktop Alerting

In our latest blog series, we are highlighting a variety of things you perhaps didn’t realize your emergency notification system could do to support your organization’s readiness, response and resilience. Thus far, we’ve covered Alert Escalations, Self-Registration, Inbound Message Board, and Integration. This post’s topic: Desktop Alerting.

As a business continuity professional, you know that your critical communication plan is not complete unless there are multiple modalities for contacting your key stakeholders. Every situation is unique, requiring you to be prepared to alert people effectively and rapidly in often unpredictable circumstances. Sometimes that can seem to be a daunting task.

Take these scenarios for example:

Your city’s tornado sirens are going off and you need to alert your employees to take shelter immediately. But Jackie is locked away in a conference room, working feverishly at her laptop. She has her headphones in her ears and her cell phone put away to avoid distractions. She is completely oblivious to the turbulent weather, much less the fact that her coworkers are hunkered down in the stairwell.

You operate a call center and have a revolving door of employees. They come and go regularly and you never know who is sitting at what desk when. There has been an incident involving a water pipe on the third floor and you need to tell everyone to avoid turning on the water for the next hour on that floor. You don’t know which specific employees are working on the third floor that day.

A new and very dangerous email virus is circulating around the world. You need to make all of your employees immediately aware in order to safeguard network and your operations.

There is a possible armed gunman on your business campus, and you must let employees know to take action now. But the last thing you want to do is call or text their phones, potentially giving away their location or hiding spot to the perpetrator. You need to reach each person in all of your buildings immediately and quietly. You might even want to get a response to a question like, “Are you okay?”

So how do you reach the “unreachable”, the “unknown”, or the “undercover”?

You warn them using the desktop alerting capabilities of your emergency notification system. With Desktop Alerting, you can instantly send urgent, attention-getting messages directly to all networked computers. These text-based alerts pop up on on-screen, taking precedence over other programs and applications, and can be sent based on an employee list (i.e., senior management) or physical location (i.e., all computers on the third floor). The messages may even be formatted to align with your organization’s branding or critical communications standards, such as red for a high alert and yellow as a precaution.

If you’re not currently using this powerful tool, or perhaps not to its fullest capacity, consider it now. It may prove invaluable the next time you need to notify staff quickly, quietly and yet obtrusively (in a good way) during a volatile situation.