November 14, 2022 Posted by Pocketstop in Other Social Share
Learn why a mass alert app (also known as a mass notification system) is essential to your emergency response plan for your business.
During a crisis, communication is essential to saving lives and property. While you have likely created an emergency response plan that covers evacuation, shelters, fire extinguishers, and team leads, have you carefully considered all your communication options?
Until recently, using email or phone calls was sufficient when communicating, even in an emergency. As technology has advanced, people receive information in different ways, for instance – email, voicemail, desktop alerts, texts, or Microsoft Teams. One of the latest options is delivering information via a push notification by a phone app designed specifically for mass alerts.
Note: you can even use your mass alert app for non-emergencies. Click here.
Before we discuss the emergency communication system, let’s explore our options by first defining what we’re planning:
What is an emergency response plan?
The best time to prepare for an emergency is well in advance, before it may occur. So many things that can affect your business — severe weather, IT malfunction, fire, power outage — and it is next to impossible to deal with them rationally in the midst of the emergency. Avoid a crisis in communication in your workplace by creating a plan.
When creating your emergency plan, be proactive. This will improve your chances of saving your business and, even more importantly, your staff and customers. When you plan for every variable that an emergency may throw at you, you’ll be able to more effectively be on the offensive when trouble comes. Of course, emergencies of all kinds can be unpredictable and not “go as planned.” However, there are ways you can minimize chaos and be ready for what may (or may not) happen.
An emergency response plan is a written set of instructions that fleshes out a series of precautions and specific actions to take during a critical event or accident. Examples: fire, active shooter, severe weather, natural disasters. The goal: to ensure employee/staff/customer safety and to save and/or reduce harm to your business operations.
Your plan also involves documenting — in writing — the steps your business will take in order to effectively deal with these emergencies in a timely and tailored manner. The plan may differ with each specific emergency, but the overall goal is to reduce harm and damage.
What emergency action plan steps should be taken?
Keep these goals in mind when creating your emergency response plan:
- Take the guesswork and chaos out of dealing with an emergency by being prepared.
- Designate responsibilities by assigning tasks to staff members.
- Determine which first responders should be contacted.
Creating notifications in advance for each possible emergency that may affect your business is a vital part of your emergency response plan. If you create the bulk of the message in advance, you will be able to tailor or quickly edit the notification when the event occurs. However, the bulk of the work would have already been done in advance.
Find out more specifics about how to create a comprehensive emergency response plan here.
Creating an emergency action plan with a mass alert app
The nature of how we work has changed. The workforce is no longer centralized, and people work from home or coffee shops. Hybrid working environments mean that you never know who may be at the office if or when an emergency occurs. This revolution is another reason why a mass alert app is an advantage in your emergency response plan. You will be more certain of reaching your people where they are most likely to see your alerts.
Also, in certain emergencies, landlines may be down and email may be inaccessible. If your business IT system is hacked, you may need to reach them on a system outside of what they normally use during business hours. An emergency alert system can help circumvent these roadblocks.
When facing an emergency, how will you communicate with your staff? Make this consideration a part of your emergency action plan. Keep these important considerations in mind:
- How will notify your people about the event? What channels will you use? Text? Email? Voice call? Push app notification? Microsoft Teams message?
- Who will draft the information to be delivered?
- How will you ensure your staff has received it?
Note: a mass alert app can be known by other names — for instance, a crisis communication system.
Which emergency notification software do you choose? You’ll need features that will work with you — and for you — when danger comes. Knowing specifically what to look for will make a huge difference (as we explore below). An emergency alert system like RedFlag will meet all of your needs, at the mere touch of a button.
Who should use the mass alert application?
Of course, if you are the head of safety or internal communications of the company, you can use the mass alert app yourself. You can also delegate the responsibility to your administrators, management and/or safety captains. Assign these responsibilities in advance. You want to notify your staff that they should expect these alerts in the event of the emergency, and they will be coming from an authentic source (you and your assigned admins). Mass alert apps like RedFlag offer two-way communication , so that your employees can respond to these alerts and let you know if they are okay or if they need help. Location-based technology will also let you know where your staff is during the threat.
Benefits of using a mass alert app in your emergency response plan
Keeping your staff informed in the event of an emergency is easier than ever with a mass alert app, especially if you plan your alerts in advance. Here are more benefits associated with the app:
- Send the right message to the right people at the right time. You’ll create a database of recipient and group them appropriately (either pre-determined or on-the-fly using GPS geolocation) to be able to quickly send messages. No misinformation or confusion in the heat of the moment.
- Send messages via multiple channels. This should include as many channels as is relevant to your business, including text, voice, email, push app notifications, Microsoft Teams messages, digital signage, alarm systems like sirens or an intercom, and more.
- Easy to use. Your interface allows you to send multiple messages to as many people as you want, and that message arrives where they’ll most likely see it. No head-scratching complications to get this right. It’s seamless.
- Matches up easily with your existing data system: Integration is possible with both your business hardware and software – RedFlag is designed to integrate.
- Reporting and analytics capabilities: document your data automatically. Show that you have taken proactive steps to help and rescue your staff. Show that you are transparent in your procedures. Show who has received and opened your messages. This could help you and protect you if the situation becomes part of a court case.
- Security: Hacking is now a commonplace danger in business. Know that you are secure if you are hacked or knocked offline. Protect your personal and business information. Know that your communications are going only to the people you choose in advance. You have the option of requiring permissions, which doubles your security.
Bottom line when including a mass alert app in your emergency response plan
It’s not something you want to think about, but the likelihood is high that your business will face an emergency or disaster at some point in the future. However, if you prepare properly, you may avoid trouble and danger. A mass alert app like RedFlag included in your emergency response plan may be just the strategy that will help you communicate with your staff, prevent injury and even death.
Find out more about how RedFlag can help you with an emergency response plan including a mass alert app. Click here.
We offer a blog post on how location-based alerts and how to hyper-target messages for relevancy and clarity. Click here.
Working with Microsoft Teams? Here’s how to easily integrate your emergency alerts (it’s easy!). Click here.
Mass.gov does a good deep dive on how to be better informed and receive emergency alerts. Click here.
Ready.gov explores further how to make a plan in order to prepare for severe weather. Click here.
The American Red Cross shows you how to create your severe weather preparedness plan in just three steps. Click here.