Three emergency communication challenges and how to overcome them

Dan Simms
August 4, 2020 9:58 AM

1. Help, I've not prepared in advance, how do I send the right communications out quickly to the right people?

In truth, this is challenging in the middle of an emergency:

  • Do you have accurate and up to date information about your people – mobile numbers, email?
  • How do you target the right people with the update?
  • How do you ensure you don't target people that have left your business?
  • How do you collate their responses and report on them centrally?
  • By the time you've assembled the information, is the communication still relevant?
  • Are your IT systems configured to allow you to do this?
  • What do you do if the emergency impacts your IT systems?

Preparation is important. Organisations that prepare are more likely to have higher staff satisfaction, recover from an emergency faster, and enjoy higher levels of productivity throughout the crisis. 

Gather the information you need ahead of time and store it in a 'battle box' or better still, inside a communications solution that helps you coordinate your response to an emergency. 

Train your recovery teams at least annually on how to respond during an emergency, so it's 'second nature' during an incident, and run 'mock tests' regularly.

2. How do I know if an emergency impacts my people?

 The only way to do this is to ask them and to collate the answers. The best way is to do this using software that supports two-way communication, and automates the process for you, giving you more time to focus on the top priorities such as employee safety. This also helps you demonstrate your duty of care to your employees.

3. What happens if my IT systems are impacted by an emergency, which also affects my communication system?

If you've invested in an on-premise communication system, and you experience a catastrophic failure with your IT systems, as has happened to several organisations with malware and crypto-locker infections, then you're probably in the same position as point 1) above.

This is why it's essential your communication platform is independent of your IT systems, so you have confidence that it will work when you need it.