Mar 30, 2022

Is your emergency preparedness plan ready for the next disaster?

Are you ready for your Texas call center to be overwhelmed with inbound calls? What will happen when your financial company’s office closes because the office is damaged by severe weather? What’s the emergency response plan for when your healthcare network experiences a data breach?

These scenarios aren’t made up. They’re not only possible, they’re true stories. Emergency preparedness plans, also known as business continuity plans, are smart, strategic operational tactics everyone needs to create, update, and improve on. Real-world threats like disastrous weather, cybercrime, and electrical outages are, sadly, on the rise:

  • Data hacking and destruction went up 600% during the COVID-19 pandemic (Embroker, 2022)
  • The U.S. accounts for a third (38%) of global economic losses caused by weather, climate and water hazards (WMO, 2021)
  • The U.S. suffered 383 “electric disturbance events” in 2020, over twice as many as 2017 (The Economist, 2021)

These threats just scratch the surface of what could impact any company. A 1-800 emergency hotline won’t cut it if (or, more realistically, when) you need communications the most. Besides the well-being of employees and customers, if handled incorrectly major interruptions from natural disasters or human-made incidents can cost your business money, time, and clout.

Do you have the tools in place today to communicate with employees and customers in an emergency and minimize down time?

Reliable communication is key for emergency preparedness plans

Every company needs to prepare for such an eventuality. Someday your company will probably encounter an emergency – hurricane, fire, ransomware, or maybe loss of electricity. There’s just no getting around it.

All these and other emergencies will require your company to use backup services, notify employees, manage customer expectations, and update partners in a fast and reliable way. Answering this call with “the system is down” won’t help anyone.

You need to be proactive today. Backups, redundancies, and failover systems that are separate from your primary systems and just as secure should be implemented. These systems are critical to providing business continuity and safety for your employees.

Emergency response plan includes these communication actions

The CDC, OSHA, and Ready.gov have samples of emergency action plans to help your business get started. And if you already have one, many sources suggest reviewing your plan (and the communication systems that go with it) annually.

Communications should be a key element during and after an emergency. To mitigate any crisis, you need to execute these key communications actions:

  • Identify abilities, limitations, and damages of communication infrastructure
  • Decide if alternate modes of communication are needed
  • Switch damaged or downed systems to alternate systems
  • Remotely notify employees via voice or text communications
  • Alert customers and third parties if necessary
  • Provide directions, orders, and updates
  • Shift incoming calls to alternative sites
  • Continue to provide the same, secure level of service

In addition, all your operational communications need back-up systems in case they’re damaged during an emergency. Assessing damage and testing communications systems is time consuming during an emergency, thus it’s essential to have your back-ups in place before an incident occurs.

Bettering your emergency response plan

Wouldn’t your plan be better if some actions happened faster or automatically? An emergency preparedness solution like IntelePeer’s can monitor your company’s networks and proactively adapt when it identifies a threat like a denial of service (DoS) attack.

Same for business continuity. When our platform detects a significant number of phone calls not going through from one location, it will route calls to an alternate, pre-selected location automatically. These solutions help make corrective actions before a company knows it’s in trouble.

Since our platform is cloud-based, your teams can send employee and partner voice and SMS notifications from anywhere. The platform is easy to navigate and features Atmosphere SmartFlows® – a simple drag-and-drop tool. Once set up, SmartFlows requires little effort to send mass messages.

With a high level of security, amazing customer support, and automated tools, our Emergency Planning solution can help improve and automate your company’s emergency preparedness before disaster strikes.