Crisis communication solution have become an integral part of the disaster management plans of several prominent organizations today. These systems can be used as a broadcast medium to disseminate important and critical information to all the parties concerned in the event of an emergency. An emergency notification system is the perfect aid to dispatch timely information to relevant personnel so that necessary steps can be taken in case of an adversity.
An emergency notification system not only comes in handy at the time of a disaster, but helps an organization’s emergency-handling team by providing it with potential crisis information on a regular basis.
With an emergency notification system playing such a critical role within an organization, it is important to employ a testing procedure from time to time. This will help ensure it is functioning properly. These tests can be conducted on a biannual or annual basis.
- The first kind of testing involves sending emergency notification messages to a select list of people or teams within an organization. Subsequently, the teams and people in question are asked to verify if they received the communication accurately. The response times are also taken into account.
- The second category of testing involves broadcasting the emergency notifications to all people within the organization, rather than a selected ‘test list’. If the message appears on all the endpoints, then the information is said to have been communicated effectively. This therefore implies that the emergency notification system is working fine.
- In many situations, a questionnaire is used to determine the results. A set of questions is administered to all the people in the organization who were a part of the ‘test list’. Those who specify they did not receive adequate or timely information are then asked to get in touch with the support team for assistance. In some instances, they might be asked to modify their email account settings so they can receive the information.
Testing a crisis communication system has several benefits associated with it. Testing on a regular basis keeps everyone aware of the system and how it’s used. It also goes a long way in sharpening and enhancing the skills of people involved, so that when the actual emergency strikes, they know how to handle it.
The key is to interpret the test results accurately and take appropriate corrective measures to make sure messages are distributed effectively in event of crisis.