GLENDALE, Calif.--(Everbridge, the leading provider of interactive communication and mass notification solutions today announced its support for National Severe Weather Preparedness Week, March 3-9, 2013. Sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Severe Weather Preparedness Week is a nationwide effort to increase awareness of severe weather and to motivate individuals, families, businesses, and communities to take actions that will prepare them in the event of severe weather.)--
“Organizations in all major industries and government sectors have a responsibility to protect life and property even during the most severe weather conditions”
Recently, Munich RE, one of the world’s leading reinsurers released data showing that North America has been the most affected by weather-related extreme events in recent decades. Their data states that from “1980 to 2011 – the overall loss burden from weather catastrophes in North America was US$1,060bn (in 2011 values)” with 30,000 lives lost.
There are a number of factors that must be considered during emergency planning, such as the projected impact of each type of emergency on the infrastructure of the impacted area, the safety of people and property and the coordination of emergency personnel. Here are five strategies that organizations and municipalities can implement to better prepare for severe weather communications:
- Plan to manage the entire lifecycle of any critical event. Dr. Robert C. Chandler, crisis communication expert, suggests creating a crisis plan that addresses each of the 6 stages of a crisis: Warning, Risk Assessment, Response, Management, Resolution and Recovery.
- Confirm that you have multiple contact paths for each individual to decrease reliance on any one device. Set delivery options to attempt email and SMS paths first, as cellular and landline infrastructures could be damaged by the storm.
- Focus on message construction. Dr. Chandler recommends that message maps consist of three short sentences that convey three key messages in 30 words. SMS messages should be no longer than 120 characters and audio/video needs to convey its message in the first 9 seconds.
- Don’t forget social media. Use social media as an additional communications channel and be sure to monitor social media sites like Twitter to gain situational intelligence that can help emergency response teams.
- Ensure that regular system and staff testing and preparation procedures are followed including system testing for effectiveness and data accuracy. Staff should be trained to operate the critical communications system from both computer and mobile devices.
“Organizations in all major industries and government sectors have a responsibility to protect life and property even during the most severe weather conditions,” said Jaime Ellertson, CEO, Everbridge. “National Severe Weather Preparedness Week provides each of us with an opportunity to review our emergency communications strategy and ensure that we have a resilient plan in place.”
Everbridge provides industry-leading interactive communication and mass notification solutions to organizations in all major industries and government sectors. Everbridge solutions increase connectivity to key audiences, automate communication processes, and integrate social media, data feeds, and recipient feedback into a single communications console. Ultimately, these solutions provide the insight and infrastructure that help clients save lives, manage critical activities and improve the efficiency of daily operations. For more information about Everbridge, please see www.everbridge.com.