According to FEMA, 68% of American adults have taken action to prepare for some type of emergency. 

However, that still leaves 32% who will be caught unprepared. You may need to help them. 

The best way to do that is by having an efficient emergency communications center. Keep reading to discover what mistakes you can avoid when setting up that center to ensure that it’s efficient.

Not Having a Good Response Plan

A good emergency communication plan won’t work well without a good response plan in place. You have to ensure that your plans are accurately updated and ready to be enacted when there’s an emergency. 

Your emergency plan should detail how to report the emergency and then how your communication center will help it. You should have plans for evacuation routes and procedures detailed somewhere at your center. 

You’ll also need a way to keep track of your employees and any people that you are planning to rescue or help. All of your emergency response personnel should know exactly what their job is as well. 

For example, each employee needs to know whether they’ll be staying at the command center to manage operations or if they’ll be out in the field. 

If you don’t review your plan often and update it, then it may be outdated by the time you need to put it into place. You should also have drills and rehearse them, especially if you get a new command center.

Missing Workstations

The next thing you should consider when you’re setting up your emergency situation center is ensuring that each person or group has their own workstation. 

Each employee needs to have unhindered access to the systems they need to manage. You might want to consider adding workstations that include tablets, computers, TVs, and whatever else they’ll need to manage the situation. 

Try to find a mobile command center that is specific to your needs so that you can incorporate as many workstations as you need. You don’t want to get a center that is too small, and all of your personnel are just working on top of each other. 

Not Thinking About Bathrooms

Take a look at your options and floor plans and see where you can add bathrooms or locate them to make your center as efficient as possible. 

If you have a mobile command center, you may not have room for a bathroom. It can also be an extra task that you may have to manage, so you may want to consider getting a portable toilet instead. 

However, it’s better to think about it now than realize in the middle of an emergency that your bathrooms (or lack of) are a major issue.

Not Using a Satellite System

Many emergency communications centers have the latest technology to monitor the situation, and you need to have some type of satellite system.

This will allow you to get network access, even if you’re in one of the most remote areas. You’ll be able to access your emergency communications system and also monitor the latest news and reports so that you stay in touch. 

A satellite system is also a great way to communicate with headquarters or the outside world even if you don’t have power or your other lines of communication go out. 

Lacking the Latest Technology

You need to have the latest technology in your center. For example, consider having things like: 

  • Wireless communications
  • Satellite phones
  • Radio equipment
  • Video surveillance
  • Phone communications
  • Cell service
  • Security measures
  • TVs
  • Tablets 

With all of this technology, you’ll also need to ensure that all of the network and software that supports it is always up-to-date so that you don’t run into any system crashes. 

Not Enabling Good Communication 

You could have the most efficient and technologically advanced emergency center, but it won’t mean much if you don’t have a good communication system as well. 

You’ll want to have a good communication system within your own center and with outside sources as well. You’ll need to communicate quickly and accurately, and you’ll need to rely on this system as well. 

For example, if paramedics are responding to a situation, they may need to wait in a staging area before it can be clear to go in and handle the crisis. In this situation, they’ll need to effectively communicate with law enforcement to find out when it is safe for them to go onto the scene. 

If your center is chaotic, you need to have a system in place where no notification will slip through the cracks. Everything needs to be accounted for so that you can manage the situation in the best way possible.

Not Having Training Drills

You need to be constantly running drills to ensure that your center is as effective as possible. 

Even having the latest technology installed at your center won’t matter if your personnel have no idea what they’re going to be doing. Training your employees can help reduce errors, delays, and confusion. 

Try and hold regular training sessions either monthly or quarterly. This will give your employees a chance to know their way around the emergency center, know how to use the equipment, and how to act in a crisis situation. 

After you conduct the drill, you can also do an audit to see where you have any inefficiencies and then adjust your plan accordingly when you have the time.

Overlooking Security Measures

Depending on the type of crisis you’re managing, you may also have security issues that you have overlooked. You may be handling sensitive information, so you should have security in place to protect that information and data. 

Your cybersecurity protocols need to protect you from any communication leaks or data breaches. You should have things like access controls, firewalls, and even encryption at your center to help protect it.

Set Up Your Emergency Communications Center Today

These may seem like a lot of mistakes to keep in mind when setting up your emergency communications center today, but working with a pro can help you avoid all of them. 

We can help you set up an effective emergency communications center that will be able to manage any type of crisis. 

Contact us today to set yours up.