According to some research, only 54% of all companies have some disaster recovery plan in place. If you’re one of those companies, you might be able to mitigate some of the damage with a good emergency communication system.

However, you need to ensure that you design it to be effective in an emergency response situation. 

But what things should you include in the system? Keep reading to discover five factors to consider when designing the system. 

1. Bi-Directional Messaging

When you’re designing emergency communications, make sure that it’s bi-directional. It is a two-way process, and it’ll help you communicate with your team and even save lives.

Two-way communication means that your employees or others can respond to the messages. As a company, you can ask your employees to confirm that they received the alert by texting back. This feature will help you measure how well the emergency response system works. 

When you have two-way communication, you’ll also be able to send emergency alerts in different formats, including texts, push notifications, emails, and voice messages. You can also send them from your tablet, smartphone, or computer. You’ll also be able to immediately receive a response to see who needs help immediately to help you prioritize your resources best. 

Most two-way communication relies on mobile devices, which can be beneficial. You’ll have the option of sending these notifications simultaneously to increase the chance that they receive the update on time. 

You can also customize messages and notify employees based on their roles, groups, or departments. You can even have options readily available for them to send back to minimize the response time. 

Using all communication routes will ensure that most people see your emergency notification and can even improve your response times. Two-way communication even helps you stay on top of the situation with updates from all your team members.

You can even have a call-in feature for employees who want to call the company for an emergency update.

2. An Easy User Interface

You’ll also want to ensure that your emergency response system has an easy user interface. It needs to be simple and user-friendly so that people know how to operate it in an emergency.

It shouldn’t take an employee forever to figure out how to send a message through the system. And you should ensure that any employee can figure it out and respond to messages regardless of their technical skill. 

This will also make it easier to train new employees on the system.

3. A Good Vendor

If you don’t have experience designing an emergency system, you may want to choose a good vendor to help you. They have the resources and expertise to ensure that you have a good emergency system. 

However, you need to research to choose the right vendor and ensure that they offer everything you’re looking for. Does the software let admins receive information through multiple channels about the emergency?

You’ll also want to ask if there is geofencing and mapping to give you an interactive map of where people are and the threats. For example, if a hurricane is coming, you’ll want to see a map of which offices and employees need to take action. 

Based on that, you should be able to tailor your response to people in those different areas. In an emergency, every second counts, and you want to have the latest information as soon as possible. 

Make a list of all the features your business needs and ensure that the vendor you choose offers all of them. 

4. Appropriate Training

There’s no point in designing a great system if your employees don’t know how to use it. You’ll need to run tests and train the employees to determine how they react to an incident and know what to do if one happens. 

Test runs are also a great way to see if you need to change your design. You’ll want to train your employees with checklists, online training on different emergencies that could happen, tabletop exercises, and webinars. 

You should train all employees. While your incident management departments, IT, company leaders, and risk management teams are most important, it can help if every employee knows how to use it in an emergency. 

For the employees who will be responsible, make sure that they understand what their role is and what they’re supposed to do. Your system should be flexible so that it can handle any weather-related disruptions, supply chain issues, or any other emergencies that might happen. 

Ensure you train your employees on pandemic responses, safety protocols, weather disasters, emergency preparedness, and compliance standards. 

It’s best if these training courses are interactive as well. You can either lead the training yourself or hire someone to train your employees.

5. Make It Comprehensive

This is another thing that many people forget when planning their notification systems because they’re only focused on one thing. For example, many companies will have fire drills but don’t actively test for active shooters. And how many companies know what to do if there’s a gas leak?

You should ensure that your emergency system can be used in any type of emergency. Most emergencies will fall into one of four categories: weather event, security event, health or safety event, or power or IT event. 

You need to make sure that your plan is flexible and can adapt to handle any type of emergency. 

Discover More Factors to Consider When You Design an Emergency Communication System

These are only a few factors to consider when you design an emergency communication system, but there are many other factors that you’ll want to ensure your system has.

We know that designing an emergency communication system can be challenging and stressful, but we’re here to make it easy for you. 

Check out our website today to get all the gear that you’ll need for your emergency communication system.