When the worst happens, your first thought is not only about your personal well-being, but the people you care for and those around you. As news broke of the tragic shooting at Fort Lauderdale airport that left eight wounded and five people dead, thoughts turned to safety and communication. Simply, how do you connect with people during a crisis?
If you get an emergency alert, how do you respond? If the cellular lines are jammed, what number do you call on a landline? Do you have important phone numbers memorized?
Active shooter situations have become a mainstay in the American consciousness, causing people to not only question their personal incident management planning, but also their company’s BCM capabilities. Seconds count, and that is why your company’s emergency response system must be agile, stable and ready to send both text and voice alerts at a moment’s notice.
Business continuity does not end at the planning stage, and having the right set of emergency response tools can make a huge difference. Both the Fort Lauderdale shootings, in Orlando, and the Istanbul nightclub active shooter incidents happen without prior warning.
First, your BCM plan needs to be accessible anywhere and everywhere. Mobile alerts and emergency notifications connect you with your employees, vendors, customers and stakeholders – immediately. Utilizing a system that can connect, via an app, will allow you to keep in touch with your people in real-time. This lets you send alert messages to vital contacts immediately, even if you are off-site, while providing them with the ability to check-in to tell you where they are and to update their status.
For a complete breakdown of the utilization of these tools, take a look at this whitepaper, Leveraging Emergency Notification Tools to Improve Organizational Resiliency, that provides a complete overview of this process.
Second, the BCM landscape is not static; your contacts and organizational infrastructure need to be fluid since resources and people can be all over the globe. Calling an office line during an incident such as an active shooter does not work, and you must utilize multiple points of contact for emergency notifications.
Your alerting service must be able to send quick and concise emergency messaging, but those alerts must also be able to reach people on different fronts. Your incident management plan must contain multiple emergency contact methods for each person and asset, including email, personal phone, office phone and ICE (In Case of Emergency) information. These tiers of information will give your message the best chance of getting through.
Once it does go through, though, the message does not matter if it is not distributed correctly. Your platform must be able to include callback information, including a HDI support, and other directives that can guide people during an incident. Having a web interface allows you to be cloud mobile, and having your app optimized allows you to update on the fly.
These tragic situations should make mobility the watchword for your BCM planning, including every aspect of your active shooter training and, when needed, your actual incident management.
Speed is the key to saving lives and protecting the people you, or your organization, have accepted responsibility for when they are in the office or working off-site. Sending an email is not enough when even Facebook has a check-in app.
It is a must to be mobile. Mobile both in the way you access and send emergency alerts and in the way your people receive emergency notifications. Access is a good thing, and that should be your mantra for emergency notifications. Because someday, it will save lives.
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Topics: Emergency Notification
Written by Assurance Software
Assurance Software takes your company’s enterprise-wide business continuity and resiliency program to the next level. With Assurance as your go-to partner for continuity and resilience, you can confidently mitigate risk, manage recovery, and safeguard your employees, customers, operations and brands.