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Emergency Alert System for Businesses

Emergency Alert System for Businesses: What To Look For

Emergency Alert System for Businesses

June 28, 2022 Posted by in Mass Notification

An emergency alert system for businesses is a must-have. Emergencies don’t just happen once in a while – they happen somewhere everyday. It’s only a matter of time before you and your business will experience some degree of an emergency. Being prepared is the best way to ensure safety and minimize damage.

Your first step is to select an emergency alert system that will help you handle communication during the emergency and contribute to saving lives. When you’re in the market for a system, keep these benefits in mind (which we’ll explore more below). You should be able to:

  • Immediately connect with your staff, no matter how large or small, and allow them to connect back with you (two-way communication)
  • Use the system in real time, communicating urgent information in mere seconds
  • Use multiple communication channels at once to increase the chance of disrupting and alerting your recipients
  • Feel assured that your people are safe and that your supply chains and reputation are damage-proof

First, know the term

An emergency alert system is used by businesses to send out mass alerts in an emergency situation. These alerts are communicated to staff through texts, emails, voice calls, smartphone alerts, and more. The goal is to get the correct information to the right people, in real time. The transaction should be as easy as sending the information with one click.

A comprehensive list of emergencies that require an emergency alert system:

  • 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

What to look for when selecting an emergency alert system:

  • One platform for everything: Manage it all with a bird’s-eye view. Integrate with your business software and hardware. Be in control and send your message in seconds; even request a response from your people.
  • Integrate with your existing system: Don’t build your system from scratch – let a high-quality system hook up seamlessly with your existing business systems, like your recipient data. Let your emergency alert system line up with what is already working for you and your staff.
  • Multi-channel usage: Be sure you can broadcast your messages to where your staff is most likely to receive them: texts, email, voicemail, desktop alerts, Microsoft Teams alerts, and more. One message from you should be able to travel to all of these platforms, in real time with no delays.
  • Customization: Brand your communication so it clearly reflects your unique style, so recipients see it as authentic. Include your company logo for instant recognition (and trust). Create specific recipient lists depending on your communication strategy for each emergency event so that only the people who need to see your message will see it. A platform allows you to create this list in advance — you won’t want to have to worry about creating one in the middle of an emergency.
  • Proper prep: We can’t emphasize this enough — the system should allow you to create alerts in advance, gather contact information (staff contacts), choose rescue and survival steps, and determine exactly when the system should be activated.
  • Reporting and analytics capabilities: You’ll need backup, just in case this situation results in a court appearance. Have all your t’s crossed and your i’s dotted: prove that you live by transparency and that your staff’s safety is your highest priority. Your system should show you who has received and opened the message, that they chose the way the message should be delivered to them, and that you are able to do a head count and find out who may be in danger. Most importantly, your recipients should be able to respond to you and tell you that they are safe — or that they may need assistance. The ultimate goal when it comes to reporting: your system should be able to provide you with a detailed account of what went down and how your staff has been protected.
  • Solid security: Of course, you want your system to be dependable, but you also want it to be secure. You want to know that your alerts are going to the right people at the right time. The system should not  have outages or be knocked offline, hacked or co-opted. Your personal information should be protected with secure, encrypted notifications that require permissions.
  • Geo-targeting capabilities: It shouldn’t make a difference if you are not physically near the emergency. You should be able to manage the situation from afar. Direct your people to a safer place (designated in advance). Map the location and “group” the people who need to be addressed.
  • Buy only the features you need: Don’t be talked into features that you know in your gut will not be necessary, but will cost you extra.

Other strategies in addition to having an emergency alert system

  • Form a team. Implement proper instruction and practice (drilling) each possible emergency situation. Ask for professional help if needed; for instance, from a fire or police department. Give each member of your team a specific role to take on in the emergency. The idea is that the team can come together and be effective at a moment’s notice.

How RedFlag can help

Consider RedFlag when selecting an emergency alert system that fulfills all necessary requirements. It’s a multi-channel communications system that lets you compose one simple, to-the-point message and share it on multiple channels with everybody on your list, no matter how large or small. This is all done with one simple click — which is essential in the midst of an emergency. Your staff will receive the message in the way they are most accustomed: texts, email, voice calls, Microsoft Teams alerts, or even through signage, sirens or a loudspeaker.

Additionally, alerts can be personalized, edited and tailored to your situation. You can compose them in advance to save time (announcing the emergency and listing instructions), and then shape them more specifically as the emergency happens. An emergency alert system like RedFlag lets you set your own preferences, customizing how your staff will receive the message. They’ll be allowed to respond so that you have a status report on each person, and a head count of the group as a whole. For you, that means peace of mind that you can do everything within your power to keep them safe and informed.

Bottom line:

An emergency alert system, used as a two-way mass notification operation that allows you to communicate with your staff, lets you deliver the most urgent information in real time, no matter the size of your group. When an emergency happens, your system will allow you to gain a practical, useable insight into what is happening, in the very moment it is happening (and the data can be used later for future planning and prevention). The goal is to save your business in an emergency, and more importantly, save lives.

Find out more about how RedFlag can help you create an emergency alert system for your business. Click here

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has online information about the Emergency Alert System. Click here.

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