In 2015, massive hailstones caused widespread damage to the town of Chincilla in Queensland, Australia. According to news reports, the hailstones came out of nowhere, surprising residents and even weather experts alike. The hailstones, which were up to 12 centimeters in diameter, hit businesses along the main district. Meanwhile, the area received more than 75 millimeters of rain in less than two hour.
This incident shows that indeed, natural disasters can strike anytime, anywhere. Further, this incident illustrates the importance of having emergency notification systems in place. With a notification program in place, it would have been easier for businesses in the area to inform their employees who were about to go to work about the sudden weather disturbance.
Today, companies are investing in notification systems designed to quickly send messages to widely dispersed employee groups. With these programs in place, organizations are able to ensure the safety of their workers during a crisis.
Because there are numerous emergency notification systems in the market place, it can be a bit overwhelming for any organization to choose just one model. But there are certain things that any procurement department or personnel should look for in crisis notification programs such as:
1. Straightforward and simple to use
The ideal emergency notification system should be one that is straightforward and easy to use. It should be a program that anyone in the crisis emergency team or committee would be able to understand and more important, use in times of a crisis. Whether the employee assigned as administrator of the program is well-versed in IT or not, he or she should be able to understand every detail of the alert mechanism.
Sending out messages should be quick and easy, especially on the part of the crisis coordinator or an employee authorized to alert the entire organization during an emergency.
2. Features real-time dashboard
Emergency notification systems usually come with a real-time dashboard that provides vital information like message delivery receipt and message responses. These details are important during a crisis, as the emergency response team would know which employees have yet to receive or read the alerts. In case an employee has not yet received or read the alert, the emergency notification system may even send follow-up alerts until the said employee has been informed of the situation.
3. Multiple channel delivery
Not all emergency notification systems allow sending of messages to multiple channels. Thus it is wise for any organization to adapt an emergency notification program that can facilitate sending out of alerts through a wide range of channels including landline and mobile phones, tablets, SMS, email, pus notifications, even pager and fax. With an emergency notification system that facilitates sending of alerts through multiple channels, companies will be able to get in touch with their employees in every way possible.
4. Offers different ways of creating alerts
The ideal emergency notification program is one that can offer various ways of creating alerts. During an emergency, not everyone in the company would be in front of their computer monitors, in the same way that not everyone would be able to get hold of their mobile devices.
By having an emergency notification system that can create email, SMS, and voice alerts sent to different types of devices, organizations will be assured that they can get to their employees in the quickest way possible. Thus, everyone in the organization should be able to receive the urgent message whether they are working in front of their computers, or they’re just on their way to the office.
It’s also great to have an emergency notification system that can give customized templates, eliminating guesswork and limiting the chances of human error during a crisis.