Another massive weather system has impacted business operations in large parts of the country. Winter Storm Jonas dumped feet of snow across the northeast, shutting down travel and stalling commerce for days. The storm is considered a “top 10” in the continental U.S., driven by this year’s strong El Nino.
From a business perspective, the storm illustrated the importance of rapid and accurate communications. Emergency or mass notification systems were used throughout the country to keep operations moving during this major disruption. Here are just a few of the ways organizations of all sizes utilized these mission critical systems:
Crisis Management Team Mobilization
For a crisis management team to be effective, members must be able to assemble rapidly and communicate in real time to make decisions. Mass notification services allow organizations to alert team members to the situation within seconds where it previously took minutes or hours. Mass notification also provides for quick, real-time collaboration.
Emergency notification systems make alerting employees to imminent danger easy and effective. Alerts can be sent through multiple devices at once. Further, managers can receive responses to questions such as “Are you OK?,” with feedback aggregating into real-time online reports. After the danger has passed, mass notification systems can be used effectively for providing work-related instructions.
While large scale notifications inform the employee base at large, mass notification systems can be used to fill vacant staff positions. If, for example, several key positions are vacant due to a crisis event, mass notification can be used to notify a pool of potential workers. Each notification recipient is asked if they can fill the position. The employee can then indicate their availability using their preferred device. Once all positions are filled, notifications cease. Or, if positions are not filled, notifications can escalate to a different pool of workers.
Automated alerts are generated without manual intervention when certain parameters or thresholds are met. This can range from the issuance of severe weather alerts by the National Weather Service to errors detected from network monitoring software. With the integration capabilities of today’s sophisticated mass notification systems, key internal systems can be enhanced with powerful alerting.
Winter Storm Jonas will be remembered for years to come. However, it doesn’t take a “top 10” blizzard to reap benefits from a mass notification service. If you’ve considered expanding your communication capabilities with a mass notification service, it might be a good time to take a serious look. Winter isn’t over, and a tumultuous spring may be just around the corner.