Communication is key in most businesses. Without it, our supply chain, staff, customers and, ultimately, our profits all suffer. Therefore, a strategic and well-tested emergency communications plan is essential for helping our staff respond well in a crisis. Not having an effective emergency communications plan in place makes disasters even more dangerous and expensive. Developing an effective plan now mitigates risk and ensures that you and your team have the right elements in place to respond appropriately.
Essential Elements of an Emergency Plan
In the event of an emergency situation, it’s important you can communicate to all stakeholders effectively; staff, customers, visitors, members, contractors, the media (depending on the situation) and the general public. You need to know what information you need to relay to them during a crisis and to keep them reassured.
Next, it’s important to know what might happen to your physical environment during specific types of crisis. Will your technology infrastructure continue to serve you and your stakeholders? Do you need any tools on hand to help you continue to communicate effectively?
Finally, do you need to consider any regulatory or compliance issues that may arise during a crisis?
Planning your Emergency Communications
There are several steps you can take to ensure that you develop an effective and efficient emergency communications plan.
- Form a Designated Team
- To help your communications plan benefit from the broadest perspective available, put together a team that covers all the areas of your business; frontline staff, IT, HR, facilities, risk management and communications.
- Brainstorm the type of emergencies that could happen and prioritise them by their probability, time of year and their potential severity. For example, if you live in an area where floods are more likely than earthquakes, prioritise the flood-related scenario.
- Know What Information Each Constituent Group Needs
- Depending on the type of crisis, you may need to send multiple messages about the same event. Make sure your communications plan addresses this and that your system makes it easy to manage. Consider that you may need to remotely activate notifications in an out-of-hours emergency, so make sure your system can handle this efficiently and securely.
- Inventory Physical Systems
- Look over your existing communications technologies and assess whether they are reliable, scalable, effective and accessible. If you are using analogue technology, this may be a good time to switch to a hosted telephony system that can easily be upscaled, accessed from anywhere and:
- Provide the right information to your stakeholders in a timely manner.
- Scale to support the number of alerts you need to send without crashing.
- Help your organization efficiently save time and effort during emergencies.
- Provide an effective way to manage simultaneous notifications across single and multiple sites.
- Alert people located on and off-site.
- Simultaneously activate notifications containing information targeted to different groups.
- Put Your Plan to the Test
- A physical test or drill gives team members the opportunity to act as if the crisis is actually happening. Include all team communications methods and physical systems in this test to make sure everyone knows how to use vital tools when needed. Make sure your staff know about the test and what their role will be.
After you have completed your plan, be sure to keep it up to date. Make sure it is updated with any new systems, technologies or locations that have been added to your business and ensure that new staff are trained on what to do in a crisis and schedule regular tests.
If your communications system isn’t up to scratch and you discover that it is not capable of supporting you in a crisis, a new hosted communication system can help you to ensure that you can cope with anything that is thrown at you.
Kane Can Help
Kane is one of South Wales’ leading independent telecoms specialists. We have helped call centres all over the world to not only meet their customer’s demands but to go beyond their expectations.
If you would like to know how Kane can deliver a hosted communication system to support your emergency communications plan, please give us a call on 0292 1111 202 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.