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Adapting to the storm: Perspectives on hurricane response from county, university, and military leaders

Add emergency preparedness to your New Year’s resolutions

Have you made your New Year’s resolutions yet? There’s still plenty of time to set goals for 2014 – why not make emergency preparedness a top priority over the next 12 months?


The start of the new year is a great time to set emergency preparedness goals for your organization. By understanding exactly what it takes to get ready for a blizzard, power failure, or other critical situations, your organization can allocate the necessary resources to implement an effective emergency preparedness and response strategy. In addition, your organization can develop emergency preparedness and response exercises for a variety of dangerous situations that will enable your organization to keep affected individuals informed before, during, and after a critical event.


Prioritize emergency preparedness in 2014 – check out the following tips to add emergency preparedness to your New Year’s resolutions.


1. Launch an emergency preparedness and response plan – An emergency preparedness and response plan helps your organization minimize risk. Create an emergency preparedness and response strategy that ensures your organization can keep affected individuals informed throughout the lifecycle of an emergency.


2. Leverage multi-modal communications – Use multiple contact paths to keep people up-to-date in an emergency. With an emergency notification strategy that emphasizes multi-modal communications, your organization will be able to send messages to affected individuals through emails, push notifications, SMS, and other contact paths, increasing the likelihood that message recipients will get critical updates.


3. Utilize social networks – Your organization can monitor social media to improve its emergency response. People at the scene of an emergency frequently use mobile devices to share critical updates on Instagram and Twitter, and your organization can track keywords and hashtags on these social networks to provide real-time information to affected individuals.


4. Promote the benefits of receiving emergency alerts – Launch an opt-in program to get people to sign up for emergency alerts. Explain how your organization’s emergency notification program works, the sign-up process, and how enrollees can manage their contact preferences to boost your program’s enrollment levels.


5. Be flexible – Emergency preparedness and response efforts are ongoing. Review and update your emergency preparedness and response plan periodically to ensure that it meets your organization’s needs.


Make 2014 a year to remember – add emergency preparedness to your New Year’s resolutions to ensure that your organization is ready for any critical situation.

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