Questions To Ask When Selecting An Emergency Notification System For Your Business Continuity Plan
Posted on / by Daniel Wagstaff / in Business Continuity, Internal Communications

Questions To Ask When Selecting An Emergency Notification System For Your Business Continuity Plan

There are many emergency notification systems available for businesses to use in the event of a natural or manmade threat to their infrastructure and daily business processes.

But which emergency notification system is best for your staff, management, stakeholders and customers? What software is best for all parties involved in the successful running of your business when implementing you business continuity plan?

Disasters and disruptions to your business come in many shapes and sizes. They can be manmade or natural disruptions such as cyber attacks, hackers, unhappy staff or customers, data leaks, hurricanes, power outages, injuries, and liabilities.

Some threats are easy to overcome, some may seriously impact your business and its normal day-to-day running for a long period of time. With a robust business continuity plan in place, your business will have identified all potential threats and outlined the staff and procedures needed to quickly recover from these threats.

Combined with an emergency notification system that is right for your type of business, you will have all the necessary measures and means of communication in place to maintain business faculties and recover quickly from any type of disaster.

RedFlag by Pocketstop is the preferred Emergency Notification Software by many companies because of its functionality, accessibility and capacity in times of crisis.

Below are a list of questions to ask when you select an emergency notification system for your business to use when implementing your business continuity plan.

Is the Emergency Notification Software provider reliable, secure, and stable?

Find out if the Emergency Notification Software provider is secure, stable, and longstanding in their field.

You need to know that your data is secure and stable with regard to the providers level of security. Look for years of experience, financial stability, and an excellent track record in delivering messages securely and instantly in the face of a disaster.

Ask about their encryption practices and security policies. Ask to see a copy of their Disaster Recovery Plan if they have one,and ensure that their services will be available 24/7, 365 days of the year. Double check the credentials and expertise of their staff and evaluate any negative press that the company has faced in the past, query this negative press if necessary. Try and find a provide whose sole area of expertise is communications.

Download Your Free eBook To Find Out What Your Emergency Notification System  Needs To Have.

Question the vendors capacity and speed

The last thing that you want when facing a disaster situation is to be let down by the speed or capacity of your emergency notification software provider.

Ask the vendor:

  • What messaging types do they offer and how many messages can be delivered per hour?
  • How can they ensure not only the sending, but the delivery of messages through to your contacts?
  • How can they help you control large volumes of messages in the event of two-way messaging in times of disaster?
  • Can messages be scheduled in advance, queued, and sent simultaneously?

It’s no good choosing to work with a provider than cannot deliver in the event of an emergency. Your business continuity plan will outline key members of staff that will use your emergency notification system to inform, educate, and reassure key people during a crisis, Make sure that your chosen provider has the capacity to deal with potentially large volumes of messages, and guarantees the delivery of such messages.

How easy is it to import and manage your current contact data?

Ask your potential vendor how easy it is for you to import current contact data and manage this efficiently using their software.

Can they handle automated updates from a client’s current database?
How is their data encrypted?
Do they scrub through contact data and remove any duplicates?
Can data be transferred via Excel and CMS integration?
Do they integrate with any existing email providers or CMS systems for the ease of uploading existing contact lists?

A lot of businesses favor RedFlag by Pocketstop because it fully supports and integrates with Microsoft Office. This means that businesses can import their contact and lists from existing excel files and email contact lists. This can save a lot of time for businesses who have spent hours creating and refining their contact lists in order of department, priority, or industry.

This is not only useful in times of an emergency, but is also incredibly helpful for internal communications within a business.

Does the vendor offer multiple messaging options?

During an emergency, your business continuity plan will outline the main people to communicate with, and their preferred method of communication.

What’s important is that all messages reach their key audiences as quickly as possible and via a platform that works for the recipients.

Ask the vendor what platforms of communication they support. Do they integrate with social media? Do they allow SMS messaging? Do they offer voice, video, audio, and text messaging as standard?

Can they offer multiple language options if necessary? Do they offer a service that allows your customers, staff, and stakeholders to opt-in for their desired method of communication?

How easy is it for you and your staff to automate messages outlined in your business continuity plan for immediate dissemination in an emergency situation?

Do They Offer Reporting and Analytics As Standard?

One of the key elements in sending out emergency messages during a crisis is seeing if they have been delivered to their desired location and is accessed. It’s all well and good sending out emergency updates to thousands of customers and staff, but how do you know if they have received them and read them?

Find out if your software provider offers reports that evaluate the success of emergency notification campaigns. This not only helps to measure the scope and success of your business continuity plan, but it also helps to amend and and evaluate your business continuity plan when a disaster is over and business functionality returns to normal.

Businesses across the country choose RedFlag as their preferred partner for emergency notifications when implementing their business continuity plan.

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About Daniel Wagstaff

Daniel defines the strategic direction of Pocketstop while identifying and managing key business opportunities. Responsible for delivering on the Pocketstop value proposition, he focuses on solving an organization’s largest communications issues by using proven technologies in unique ways. While content may be King, communication is Queen and she wears the pants. Daniel ensures every solution is both simple and efficient and delivers measurable business results. Daniel has 20 years of diverse experience working with clients to ensure their B2B and B2C communication strategy motivates and drives the desired behavior.