August 4, 2022 Posted by Pocketstop in Other Social Share
What is an all-hazards emergency response plan? As a business owner, it’s your chance to consider every type of emergency your business and staff could face, and plan for response and rescue efforts. Think of “all hazards” as literally that — it’s not the typical emergency that comes to mind first, such as a snow emergency or computer hack — but every single type of emergency that can happen at any time, no matter how big or small (we’ll discuss these in more detail later). An all-hazards approach to your business will better prepare you to handle any type of emergency that may come your way.
An All-Hazards Emergency Response Plan as described by Ready.gov
According to ready.gov, when developing an all-hazards preparedness plan:
- potential hazards should be identified
- consider vulnerabilities assessed and analyze potential impacts
- identify scenarios to consider for emergency planning
The risk assessment identifies threats or hazards and opportunities for hazard prevention, deterrence, and risk mitigation.
Consider a business impact analysis (BIA)
The business impact analysis (BIA) identifies time sensitive or critical processes and the financial and operational impacts resulting from disruption of those business processes. The BIA also gathers information about resources requirements to support the time sensitive or critical business processes.
Benefits of an all-hazards emergency response plan
You don’t have to worry about drilling down to every last detail of every single hazard. Instead, your plan should be more of an overview, and prepare for a broad range of emergencies. Think about training and drilling your staff, acquiring the most useful supplies, and putting the best people in charge when the emergency happens — all in advance.
- reduce or minimize injury, accidents and death.
- reduce or eliminate destruction to your business’ property.
- reduce or eliminate panic and confusion.
- the most effective preparedness your staff can get, so that the emergency can be dealt with quickly and smartly.
- have in place — in advance — a flow chart or protocol to deal with any emergency that comes your way.
Of course, we know that not all emergencies are alike and that things can go wrong even with the best planning. But it’s a good start that can lead to more useful strategies and more flexible options as your plan evolves.
Emergencies to consider
When composing your list of emergency possibilities, not all situations may come to mind. This list may help:
- Extreme or severe weather
- Building emergencies like fire or flooding
- Health issues like COVID or a flu outbreak
- Communications network failure (your emergency alert system is a separate, unaffected system)
- Ransomware attack or hacking
- Active shooter
- Criminal activity
- Machine and IT functions
- Security breaches
How your staff will receive this information:
- SMS texts
- Phone calls
- Social media
- Other platforms like Microsoft Teams
Invest in a mass notification system to carry through your all-hazards emergency response plan.
A mass notification system like RedFlag lets you send emergency alerts with features that allow you to contact your staff within seconds. It works as simple as this: compose a simple but informational message and send it to everybody you need to contact, in one easy click.
How RedFlag can specifically help
Consider the features and benefits of a RedFlag mass notification system:
- One easy platform: simple to navigate and powerful enough to reach everyone. Send your message in mere seconds, and have it received in real time.
- Integrate seamlessly with your existing computer system: integration is possible with both your business hardware and software – RedFlag will work with your system, not intrude upon it.
- Multichannel usage: one message goes to every platform where your staff will most likely see it and benefit from it: texts, email, voicemail, desktop alerts, Microsoft Teams alerts, and more.
- Two-way communication: this could be the most important feature of all. With two-way communication, your staff should be able to not only receive the message but also be able to respond to it. This gives the both of you peace of mind, letting you know if they are okay or if they need help.
- Accountability: in the end, after the event, you will have a detailed account of the communication you’ve conducted with your staff for the duration of the emergency. First and foremost, you will know your staff is safe and accounted for, but you can also use this information if a legal proceeding occurs in the near future. This data shows that you were in front of the problem as best as you could have been and that you have done everything within your power to make things right.
- Specific customization: messages are good, but they won’t mean anything unless your staff knows that they are actually, authentically coming from you. Use a company logo or a “secret word,” to help your staff easily recognize you and your message. You can send these messages to a very specific recipient list, even you only need to contact just one person. At the same time, be sure that the very people you need to contact will see the message — no wasted communications, no confusing mixups.
- Plan ahead. compose your message in advance, long before any emergency happens. The last thing you will want to do is create the message and the recipient list in the middle of any chaos or panic. You’ll always be able to edit the message and the recipient list in real time, if you need to. You can embellish or edit the message when needed, but at least the basic communication will already be there, saving you extra time and trouble.
- Reporting and analytics capabilities: this data can serve as your documentation of the emergency event. As noted earlier, if you are called into court, it could possibly prove that you have taken the proper steps to help and rescue your staff, and it shows that you are transparent in your procedures. Your system will show you who had received and opened the message, and that they had chosen in advance to receive your message on a certain platform (for instance, email or text).
- Security: know that your data and messages are secure, and will not be knocked offline or hacked. Ultimately, this is all about your personal and business information, and you need this data to be secure. Your communications will only go to the right people — the people you have granted access beforehand. Permissions will be required, to add to your security.
- Geo-targeting capabilities: when an emergency happens, you may be nowhere near the scene. That should not matter. You can protect your staff from afar. Guide your staff to a safer place, map the emergency location and “group” the people who most need to be addressed and helped.
When planning to rescue your business from an emergency, plan for every emergency. This doesn’t mean you have to have every detail worked out in advance, but having a general plan that can apply to all emergencies will put you that much further ahead. Don’t plan anything without the help of a mass notification system like RedFlag, which can actually do a good part of the work for you.
Read more about how ready.gov can prepare you for an all-hazards emergency response plan. Click here.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) offers a useful guide for all-hazard emergency operations planning. Click here.
Find out more about how RedFlag can help you plan your all-hazard emergency operations. Click here.