How to Establish a Reliable Channel for Emergency Communications


Establish a Reliable Channel

Too often when an emergency occurs, chaos ensues. This can be due to a number of factors, including fear and panic, but part of that fear and panic stems from uncertainty. When a crisis event unfolds, people frequently do not have the information they need to understand what is happening and what steps they should be taking to stay safe. One of the issues is that people often do not know where to turn for reliable information during the onset of an emergency. People quickly turn to social media or rely on word-of-mouth anecdotes, both of which can have misleading or inaccurate details. This can put people at even greater risk.

That’s why organizations need to establish authoritative, recognizable channels that share credible safety information. This helps reduce the risk of misinformation spreading and can get people to take appropriate actions to protect themselves quicker. In this blog post, we’ll outline how you can establish a reliable channel for emergency communications using a mass notification system.

Reach Everyone at the Same Time

It’s important to realize that you cannot establish a reliable communication channel in the midst of an emergency. By then it’s far too late to combat misinformation or minimize further disruptions caused by people not knowing what they should do. Establishing reliable channels needs to start much earlier, by understanding how you want to reach people when an emergency occurs. Depending on your organization it may make sense to only utilize on-premises devices like IP phones, IP speakers, desktop computers, digital signage, and other tools that will broadcast your message. However, you still need to find a way for those messages to go out at as close to the same time as possible, to reduce the risk of having a delay in who receives the message. Some organizations may also want to use mobile devices to reach people who may not be on-premises or may not be in an area when an emergency happens. This can be helpful to expand the reach of your messages, but, again, it’s important to reach everyone at the same time with the same message.

Learn how to boost your emergency preparedness

That’s where a mass notification system can help. It can tie together all of your devices so you can simply hit a button and have a message go out to everyone. This helps keep the information being shared consistent and helps leaders spend their time focusing on a response. Mass notification systems also offer many customization options so messages can match your organization's branding, and even include images like logos or icons that represent different types of events. Once your system is set up, there is still work to be done to get people to recognize it as the definitive source of information during a crisis.

Regular Use is Key

Once you determine how you will communicate with people, you need to begin educating them about the tools and procedures your organization has in place and how they will be used in the event of an emergency. This will require training people who will have permission to send out messages in how to use the system and creating resources for recipients so they understand the types of messages they can expect to receive.

Develop your alerting workflow

However, you don’t want to stop there. Educating people is great, but a one hour-training session rarely gets remembered if an emergency occurs six-months or further down the road. You also need to find non-emergency use cases for your system. Sending regular tests and using mass notifications for reminders about events in your organization, like a company-wide meeting, can help people better familiarize themselves with the system. That way when an emergency does take place, recipients immediately recognize who the message is coming from and understand that they are being told critical information.




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