It's that time of year when we find ourselves reflecting on the past 365 days while pondering how we can make the most of the next 12 months. For better or worse, we have continued to make New Year’s resolutions and they have proved to be both a trap we fall into and a great tool for change.
In keeping with the spirit of the tradition, we’ve created a list of resolutions specifically designed to help you review your Emergency Notification strategy for 2011.
Tell Everyone You Have a System
Be sure to inform your staff about the purchase of your high-speed outbound notification system. By simply informing other departments, an opportunity will be granted to share ideas about how the system can be used. The confidence level of all departments will increase as everyone is made aware that a reliable, robust, easy to use system is available when an emergency strikes.
"As a general rule, the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information."~ Benjamin Disraeli
Train All Departments
Along with informing all departments and personnel, training is essential. Each department should have at least one representative who knows how to use the system. Your high-speed notification vendor should be willing to train, assist and educate all people and departments that will be using the system.
"It all has to do with the training: You can do a lot if you're properly trained."~ Elizabeth II
Test Your System
Make sure once you’ve procured an outbound 911 system that you don’t then forget about it until your first emergency occurs. Test your system regularly and consider using it for routine purposes such as keeping your staff informed about meetings, employee recognition or other internal communications tasks.
"Once the races begin it's more difficult and there is never that much time for testing." ~ Valentino Rossi
Use Your System
Encourage your staff to use the system so they feel comfortable with it. When an emergency situation arises, your staff will be ready to use your outbound 911 system with confidence and without hesitation.
“When I learn something new - and it happens every day - I feel a little more comfortable in this universe." ~ Bill Moyers
Communicate with Your Vendor
Use your high-speed notification vendor as a resource. Your vendor can give you a variety of suggested system uses and real life anecdotes from other clients.
“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” ~ George Bernard Shaw
Demand Excellent Service
Demand excellent customer service from your high-speed notification provider. Emergencies don't always happen during business hours, the company that provides your service should be available to assist you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with live, knowledgeable and pleasant customer service representatives.
"The goal as a company is to have customer service that is not just the best, but legendary." ~ Sam Walton
Consider Adding Social Media
In 2010 the impact of social media was witnessed in connection with several emergency situations. Take some time to look into how other emergency management agencies are using social media and think about how you too can integrate it into your emergency notification strategy.
“It's too late to get in the social media game after an incident has already happened.” ~Deputy Tom Erickson
If you don’t have a system, make it a priority to research getting one in 2011. Don’t put your community in jeopardy by waiting until you’re waist high in flood water, or up to your roof in snow, or even trapped by wildfires, or torn up by tornadoes before you get an outbound 911 system.
"The best way to get something done is to begin." ~ Author Unknown