Disasters lead to chaos – whether it’s an active shooter event, a hurricane or other event. There will be mass confusion within your organization, making it very unlikely that all of your employees will have computers or tablets handy. You need to ensure that you can still instantly reach each and every team member. To do this, you need multi-channel notifications.

Importance of Multi-Channel Communication

Using multi-channel communication is one of the best ways to ensure you can immediately notify your employees of any threats and make sure they are taking the proper actions to protect themselves.

Greater Reach

Multi-channel communication increases the likelihood that your staff will see your alerts. If an employee is seeking shelter during an emergency, they probably won’t have a computer handy, but they may be able to check text messages. Simultaneously pushing your emergency alerts through numerous channels gets your notifications in front of more employees, wherever they may be. Channels can include email, text, voice call, fax, mobile app push notifications, pages and more.

Guaranteed Uptime

Not all means of communication will always be available. For example, phone lines often become overwhelmed during an emergency, preventing messages from going through. In this instance you may need to rely on email alerts.

If you don’t have an emergency preparedness plan in place that utilizes multi-channel alerts then you will struggle reaching all of your employees. Having a multitude of channel options becomes truly indispensable during a disaster when common means of communication often fail.

Importance of Employee Participation

Emergency preparedness managers often find it difficult to gain employee participation. Employees don’t want to give out personal contact info or think the company will use it for non-emergency messages.

However, it’s important that EP managers educate their employees about exactly how they’ll use the emergency notifications and show them how these emergency alerts can potentially save their lives. Once employees see how these alerts can benefit them, they’ll be more likely to share their personal contact information.

Gaining Contact Data

Even the best emergency preparedness programs fail if only a fraction of employees are properly enrolled. You need to be able to reach 100% of your employees in an emergency, so you need to have 100% of your employees’ contact information.

Simply having each employee’s phone number is not enough. To enable your multi-channel emergency notification system, you need each piece of contact data from each employee – cell phone number, personal email, mobile app username, etc.

Engaging Employees

Educating employees on emergency scenarios is the best way emergency preparedness managers can encourage their team members to provide their contact information. Your team members need to understand that having an emergency notification system can potentially mean the difference between life and death.

Emergency preparedness managers should stress to employees that:

  • Anything can happen in the workplace, including both natural and manmade disasters
  • Rapid communication saves lives and minimizes the risk of serious injury or death in a emergency

Reassuring Users

Finally, emergency preparedness managers need to explain to employees that their contact information will not be used in non-emergent situations. These days everyone is wary of giving out their phone numbers and email addresses, afraid that they will then be inundated with spam.

More than 55% of respondents to a Public Health Reports survey reported that they were interested in receiving alerts related to workplace emergencies. However, despite this interest those respondent were still hesitant to enroll in emergency notification systems. One respondent explained, “I worry that there would be too many non-emergent or non-crucial text messages.”

To increase employee enrollment make sure to reassure your employees that their contact information goes into the database to be used only for emergencies.

Make sure your organization’s emergency preparedness plan includes multi-channel notifications. In the event of an active shooter, hurricane or other emergency, you need to be able to immediately reach your employees.

By showing them that these alerts can protect them, you’ll be able to gather all their personal contact information for your database.

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