Things You Didn’t Know Your Emergency Notification System Could Do: Inbound Message Boards

6 Minute Read

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. So far, we’ve covered Alert Escalations and Self-Registration. This post’s topic: Inbound Message Board.


Imagine this scenario. A massive snow storm has hit the region overnight and you need to adjust your company’s work schedule as a result. You activate your emergency notification system, quickly sending out voice messages to employees. The alerts contain report-to-work instructions, including the address of the alternate location and modified office hours.

The message was sent to all of your intended recipients, but it was not as effective as it could have been.

Mary was driving and couldn’t write down the address of the other facility.

Sandra was distracted by the TV, and once she hung up, couldn’t remember if the message said to be at work at 7 or 8 AM.

Zachary answered the call. But, because of the weather, his wireless service was spotty and the message kept cutting out.

Taylor didn’t get the call because his phone battery was dead, and he had left his charger at the office the day before.

And, Ryan didn’t answer the call at all.

If you’ve ever sent an emergency notification through voice only, you know that all of these things can, and do, happen. And, happen often. So how do you prevent confusion and improve the likelihood of your messages being received – and acted upon – when sending by phone?

Making an Inbound Message Board available to employees is an excellent way to alleviate many of the struggles associated with voice alerting. It allows them to access additional incident details, status updates, etc. at any time by simply dialing a dedicated local or toll-free number. A 24×7 “hotline” of sorts.

You, the sender, are able to update the information as often as you’d like so that employees only receive the most current information, which is particularly valuable in an ongoing situation. And, an employee can call as often as they’d like to hear the message(s) multiple times, or respond through easily customized IVR (Interactive Voice Response) options.

If you can’t afford for your employees to miss your important message, an Inbound Message Board should be a critical component of your emergency notification process.

Just make sure everyone is aware that the Inbound Message Board exists by:
– Publishing the number in your organization’s business continuity plan
– Including the number in the employee handbook
– Printing the number on wallet cards or the back of employee ID badges
– Posting the number on the company intranet
– Providing employee reminders in advance of known events (e.g., our mock snowstorm)

Better yet, don’t just rely on the phone (i.e., voice messages) to send alerts to employees, especially outside normal business hours. Take advantage of every communications modality, including SMS and email, to share pertinent details or get vital feedback. You’ll increase the odds of making them aware, and your organization more resilient.