No organization can fully prepare for every possible scenario, but there are ways to preempt emergencies that can help every organization, regardless of size. Communication remains a key piece to emergency management and preparedness, so we’ve outlined a few ways to get ahead of the curve when it comes to protecting your organization.
Emergency Messaging Templates
In times of crisis there is little time to react, let alone communicate effectively. If you are charged with communicating to your community in crisis situations… it is essential that you have emergency messaging ready to go. Emergency messaging templates drastically reduces the time it takes to contact your community. FEMA emphasizes that emergency messaging templates should be specific, clear, and accurate.
“How an alert/warning message is written is as important as what is written”
FEMA on Template: Emergency Communication Plans and IPAWS
When crafting emergency messaging templates, don’t worry about nailing down every little detail. Focus on creating a solid structure which can later be modified to fit the specific use case. Examples when emergency messaging templates are useful include; power outages, lockdowns / evacuation prompts, fire, etc. An example of a highly customizable notification could look something like …
‘FIRE ALERT: (location / date / time) . (Nearby areas) should be evacuated immediately. Avoid (affected streets/through ways). Go to (URL LINK) for more information and updates on this incident.’
911Cellular’s Mass Notification System allows administrators to formulate and save emergency messaging templates for later use. Saved notifications help to reduce response time and close the crisis communication gap quicker.
Emergency Weather Alerts
Another way to preempt emergencies is to set-up automatic weather alerts. Severe weather events can strike within a moment’s notice and evolve quickly. Organizational members tasked with alerting community members need to remain vigilant and abreast of changes in weather conditions. A reliable and accurate place to monitor emergency weather events is the National Weather Service (NWS). The NWS provides timely weather alerts as well as trusted safety protocol for dealing with weather related emergencies.
Preemptive messaging about weather emergencies is key to mitigating community confusion and potential harm. Similar to emergency messaging templates, having a detailed communication plan for common weather emergencies can quickly reduce your organization’s response time.
The simplest approach to emergency weather alerting is having NWS alert your community directly. With 911Cellular’s Mass Notification System, weather alerts can automatically be sent to your entire community when certain weather events take place. Emergency weather alerts will automatically be sent to a specified area but will contain a message set by the NWS. You can configure these alerts to be sent based on specific parameters. Setting up automatic weather alerts allows your community to prepare for and respond cohesively to emergency weather events.
It’s basic, but one of the best proactive steps your organization can take to protect the safety of its members is to create clear community communication lines. This means offering easy to use tools or protocol for community members to alert security forces. However, simply having emergency communication tools and protocol is not enough. Community members must be aware of these resources, know how to use them, and feel empowered to use them. Below are some points worth thinking about when evaluating community member usage of emergency communication tools or protocol…
- What ways can community members contact safety forces in an emergency situation? Phone call, text message, email, pushing a panic button, etc.?
- What are potential barriers community members may experience when trying to contact safety forces?
- Do community members know what emergency phone number to dial?
- Are community members aware of where panic buttons are located? Do they understand how to use them?
- How often do community members receive information or training on emergency communication tools and protocol?
If your community or organization is interested in becoming more proactive in your attempt to preempt emergencies, 911Cellular can help. Our Mass Notification System, Mobile Safety App, Bluetooth Panic Buttons, and Computer Panic Buttons shorten emergency response times and comprehensively assist safety forces in staying connected with the communities they serve. Visit our website to learn how you can easily and quickly implement these communication solutions.