SAN DIEGO (April 12, 2011)—With dozens of tornadoes touching down throughout the Midwest this week, the season is quickly moving into high gear and MIR3, the innovator of real-time Intelligent Notification™ and response technology, is urging employers to revisit their current business continuity and disaster recovery (BC/DR) plans to keep employees safe and operations running should a devastating twister strike.
Employers in tornado-prone areas should prepare for risks associated with these storms that can negatively impact business operations, including mass power outages, property damage and potential physical harm to employees.
Advances such as mass notification systems provide organizations the ability to communicate with employees, partners, and customers during operational interruptions due to natural disasters like tornados. Additionally, these notification systems can alert company officials when IT systems fail and a backup is necessary.
Last year according to the National Weather Service approximately 1,282 tornadoes were reported nationwide. In an effort to reduce the impact of natural disasters in the workplace, MIR3 executives are currently offering employers and enterprises the following tips on best practices to follow when examining BC/DR plans:
- Understand BC/DR needs—In the wake of an emergency, it becomes imperative for companies to maintain clear and effective channels of communication in order to quickly assess damages and coordinate recovery efforts. Because essential business operations can greatly be affected by any stage of interruption, whether it is urgent or non-urgent, companies must realize the importance of investing in important message delivery systems because of their ability to instantly bring, two-way, essential communication to employees and first responders
- Choose notification systems that offer a range of choices—When selecting a notification system, research its capabilities and consider systems that allow two-way communication over a variety of channels, including land line, fax, mobile, Short Message Service (SMS), Blackberry PIN-to-PIN, email, and more. These advanced features become very useful in assisting the delivery of important and urgent information
- Ensure systems are up-to-date—Companies should regularly check their recipient lists to ensure that all contact information is up-to-date so when a disaster occurs, business continuity planners are confident that notifications are being delivered to the right person on the correct device
- Create escalation plans—Crisis situations demand that the proper people are contacted about a situation that needs immediate attention. Intelligent notification systems include integrated mechanisms that support a call escalation process. If the first person contacted is not the desired individual for the situation, the notification systems automatically follow up with the next appropriate executive via a previously chosen communication channel
- Train personnel and test systems—When creating BC/DR plans, it is essential to properly train personnel on how to use intelligent notification systems so they are able to send and monitor the entire alert process. This not only manages communication more effectively, but studies show that companies who educate their employees correctly achieve significantly greater response rates. Also, be sure to test alert systems during normal business hours and address any glitches, so that you can be certain notification deliveries are successful when needed. A rule of at least two system tests per year is a recommended industry standard to follow.
- Incentivize all employees to sign up for notifications—When a notification system is installed, it is critical that all user contact information is saved within the system’s files so that staff can be alerted on personal communication devices if need be. Today’s advanced notification system providers are offering companies incentive methods—such as drawings, prizes and awards—to ensure that all required personnel are registered to receive reliable and speedy messages.
- Establish reactive steps to follow after the disaster—When proactive measures fail, business continuity management programs must specify reactive procedures. These reactive measures will enable organizations to return to normal operations as quickly as possible and will help them better prepare for future crises
MIR3, Inc. is the leading developer of Intelligent Notification™ and response software, which helps organizations enhance communication abilities, protect assets, and increase operational efficiency. MIR3 technology enables advanced rapid, two-way mass communication for IT, business continuity, and enterprise operations for many of the Global FORTUNE 100 companies, as well as government entities, universities, and companies of all sizes in more than 130 countries. For more information, visit onsolve.com. Follow us on Twitter: @MIR3.