Written by David Batastini and Cassie Shau from Rave Mobile Safety
Incident Management: How The Community Judges Your Success
“Successful incident management is greatly dependent on your level of communication, so send alerts often – before, during, and after an incident – and through as many delivery technologies as you can.”
Everywhere you look, people are talking about metrics – how successful you are and how to measure that success. We’re counting how many steps we take each day, how many people share our social media posts, and how fast our GPS routes us to our destination.
Emergency management and other public safety and security organizations are also seeing metrics develop in incident management. For instance, trending in emergency call centers today is that act of analyzing 9-1-1 call data for greater insight into incident types and call patterns.
During an incident, how well you communicate is often a solid measure of how well you handle the situation. How fast you send the first message, how often you update, and how clear your message content is all become measurement opportunities. The public isn’t the only group evaluating these metrics. Good communication among your internal teams can also improve your overall success.
Effective messaging is even more important when our communities consume and share information faster. In the age of SMS messages and social media feeds, the old adage of “tell the truth and tell it first,” takes on new importance. Unless you provide authoritative information throughout an event, easily-shared false reports can spread in the gaps. These rumors confuse your community and sometimes put more people in danger.
Successful incident management is greatly dependent on your level of communication, so send alerts often – before, during, and after an incident – and through as many delivery technologies as you can. Sending messages to many destinations helps reach more people and provide your community with frequent updates. At different times of day or points during an incident, a given person might receive your message better through SMS, email, or public siren systems. By sending your message to all these modes at once, you make sure those people know what’s going on no matter which delivery type they need.
Identical messages, though, won’t work well on all the modes you can reach. A concise SMS message might warn people away from a dangerous incident, while a longer social media post shares authoritative updates with the public. Meanwhile, sirens are great for warning people but they don’t transmit instructions at all. An effective notification system lets you send tailored messages to different modes at the same time. This way, you can send each community member the warning, brief instructions, or detailed situation update they need without delaying one or the other.
Your community isn’t the only group who are measuring the quality of your incident management, either. Your internal teams rely on effective communication to resolve situations as well. During certain incidents, some delivery modes might not work at all, like if your email service goes down as part of a cyber-attack. How do you reach your employees then? Multi-modal alerting provides the resiliency you need to keep them connected and informed during any event, through whatever modes are functioning.
Unfortunately, when you don’t communicate well people sometimes think you aren’t working on the problem. If getting the word out means sending SMS alerts, then composing emails, then tweeting before posting on Facebook, there’s a better way.
Modern technology can significantly improve the efficiency of your incident management strategy. The Rave Alert emergency notification system streamlines this process, so you can create all messages at once and deliver them simultaneously. With this kind of fast, wide-reaching communication, your teams and community know the facts they need, through the devices they have, throughout each incident.