What is a Civil Emergency Message?
A Civil Emergency Message is a warning issued through the Emergency Alert System (EAS) in the United States to warn the public of a significant in-progress or imminent threat to public safety.
How can you use Emergency Messaging in your organization?
To use Emergency Messaging effectively in your organization, you will first need Emergency Notification Software. There are many different options available that will work for your organization.
Once you have the tool set-up and linked to your HR System, you could start by sending a test message. You don’t want to overdo this but sending out a test during the initial phase of the project will give you an idea of response rate.
Try doing this as part of an Emergency Exercise Scenario and ask the recipients to respond. This way you will have a report on the percentage of respondents. As part of the exercise you could allocate the responsibility for contacting those who do not reply to the message.
If you are sending out a Test message – it is extremely important that you include the words TEST. This should be the first thing people see so there is no confusion.
Hawaii’s Emergency Management Team provide a good example of what happens if you send out a Test Emergency Message that doesn’t say Test. Here are some lessons learned from that incident and how legislation can affect business continuity management.
What makes a good Emergency Message?
Sent from a Local Authority
If you have a nationwide organization it would be sensible to divide your messaging into regions. Instead of sending one message to everybody, you should send multiple messages out from Local Managers.
Tailored to the recipient
Ensure your message is personal by including the recipients first name and information that is relevant to their location.
Factual and Specific
Messages should be specific, factual and actionable. This means the information needs to be relevant to the receiver and contain an instruction about what they should do next.
If you don’t have an instruction – there is probably no reason to send a message.
Timely and Concise
Send your message as soon as possible, make your message relevant – clear, simple, understandable and most importantly – short.
If you want to increase your Organizational Resilience, start with preparing a Business Continuity Plan and check out BCP Builder’s Business Continuity Planning Templates.