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Disaster recovery journal: Claudia Dent on regional preparedness critical communications

From the desk of our Vice President of Product Management!

Recently, Disaster Recovery Journal published an article written by Claudia Dent about regional preparedness, and how successful crisis management depends on an organization’s ability to manage critical communications when it matters most, during or immediately following events.  Claudia’s piece is increasingly relevant as many US communities gear up for the holiday weekend, speaking directly to their efforts to keep residents safe and secure throughout the festivities.

Claudia DRJ

The piece opened up with information on leveraging 21st century technologies, because as consumers become more and more tech savvy, they’re increasingly communicating via mobile, text messages, iMessage, Skype, FaceTime and other methods of communication. Both pre-planned responses to quickly notify the entire region and community engagement are important in managing a critical event; included below is an excerpt from the article on community engagement:

Having strong community ties is important for relations building, but it’s also an important component to preparing for critical events and crises. Specifically, when an agency, county, or municipality has a direct communication channel with its residents, it has a powerful link to distribute information straight to recipients. This is a powerful and effective strategy, but its effectiveness is determined by the number of residents who choose to opt-in, self-select, and to receive communications. For this reason it’s important to have a scalable system that has simple and easy-to-use resident opt-in tools. Allowing residents to text a specific key word or text their zip code to a mobile short code are examples of providing easy methods for residents to opt-in to a communication system. Once they opt-in, these same systems should offer the ability to engage via anonymous tipping and other two-way communication features.

Claudia also discussed why regions should have incident management for operational incidents, including large power outages, IT outages, pipeline operations and safety compliance. These operational issues impact productivity and revenue, cause production slowdowns, delay responses to time-sensitive issues and require tracking for compliance purposes. To ensure a quick response and fast resolution, it is critical to follow the correct procedure and include the information required for each incident type.

She shared insights on a concept known as the “Network Effect,” which is the byproduct of deploying a unified critical communication solution, as this ensures that these previously unconnected groups can access the latest notifications and updates from local, verified resources and coordinate to ensure that no conflicting messages are delivered to their recipients.

Lastly, Claudia revealed six scenarios for critical communications that call for strategized approaches to crisis communications networks and connections, which she says need to be created before they are needed. Read the full article at the below link to see which ones you should focus your attention on.

The full article is featured in the Disaster Recovery Journal Summer 2015 digital edition, found online at the following link:

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