Be Prepared!

The successful relay of emergency communications rely on the ability of emergency responders to exchange data, voice and video material. More than 50,000 independent agencies across the United States routinely use emergency communications. When an emergency occurs, the need to communicate is immediate. An important component of any organization's preparedness program is the crisis communications plan. An organization must be able to respond promptly, accurately and confidently during an emergency in the hours and days that follow.

Here are a few tips to bear in mind that will bolster efficiency when drafting a crisis communications plan:

  • Preconfigure emergency scripts you can customize later to accelerate your response without sacrificing accuracy and efficacy.

  • Write messages a sixth-grader can understand and digest in under 45 seconds.

  • If messages are coming from a specific person or department, use that same source for subsequent messages related to the event. Continuity breeds assurance.

  • Craft direct and detailed messages. Tell people who the message is from, what the emergency is, when/where it’s happening, what to do next, and where to get more information.

  • Ensure you have the ability to manage the emergency using mobile technology, as you may have to do so from an off-site location.

You can’t control when a crisis will hit, but you can control how you respond to it. Take the time to develop and test-drive an effective response — one that leaves you with minimal to no loss in the aftermath.

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