How to Improve Emergency Communications – We try our best to live safe and secure lives, but unfortunately, there are situations that are sometimes out of our hands. An emergency or tragic crisis can strike anytime, with no obvious warning or notification. A spur-of-the-moment challenge ignites anxiety, but under such conditions, there’s a need to stay calm to cope with the critical case.
Frequent responses, quick actions, and effective communication are crucial when it comes to emergency situations. Overcoming panic and communicating during an emergency makes a significant difference and allows you to take control of the situation.
This article will share a few tips that can help improve emergency communication and respond quickly.
Craft Clear and Concise Messages
It’s important to craft a concise message and avoid vague sentences. Make sure your message is understandable for everyone so they can follow instructions immediately without wasting time. This means avoiding using extremely long sentences with high-level vocabulary. Your messages should use the simplest terms that can be easily read and understood by people of all ages. Your main focus should be on the situation, its background, and any necessary actions needed to overcome the disaster. Try not to change descriptions if possible. It’s essential to use common names of things, people, or places so the listener can avoid confusion.
Use Latest Technology
It’s easy to overcome the situation and keep the community safe if the right information is delivered to the right staff. You can invest in the latest emergency communication technology so the information can be distributed quickly to the involved staff and affected people. Make sure your emergency software works well and regularly upgrade your 911 call recording system because you don’t want to compromise critical situations. This is the only way to ensure two-way communication.
Try to be Consistent
Consistency is the most important thing that you need to consider when communicating in emergency situations because it can help eliminate misconceptions. There may be multiple authorities providing information that can cause misunderstanding if they’re not consistent, so make sure the same message is sent to the person who is in an emergency. Consistency in messages allows everyone to be on the same page. It is especially easy to get confused and distracted during emergencies, so sending out consistent messages to all the relevant parties will help eliminate such problems. You can broadcast a streamlined message to all your stakeholder through digital and media platforms to help reinforce one idea.
Be on Time
Handling emergency situations is quite difficult because you have to respond rapidly. Every second counts in critical situations and delays in updates can make the situation worsen due to incorrect assumptions. Emergency managers and other staff should be prepared for all kinds of emergencies, and this can only be done with the ability to respond swiftly.
You can take a few seconds to review your message if an update comes, it’ll help you to deliver the message with more clarity and accuracy but try to covey the messages as quickly as possible. All communication methods, including email, mobile phone, app notifications, and text messages should be up to date so the right message can be delivered. Frequent and repetitive messages are important even if there is no new update, it can set clear expectations.
Choose the Right Modes of Communication
Most organizations in the present-day use digital platforms as a way of enhancing the reach of their emergency communication messages. In fact, many companies hire crisis teams and have platforms to share and receive sensitive data for analytical purposes. These networks give firms the ability to create awareness about the available resources, allowing them to take decisions in a faster and more effective manner. The best way is to take advantage of all the available communication channels which include:
These are short messages in the form of emergency alarms. This channel of communication should be used only to transfer life-saving information.
Recorded voice messages and phone calls are used to convey actionable and important information. These calls are less invasive than wireless alerts and usually more authentic, so it’s important to check their frequency.
Information can be shared with concise, short, and understandable text messages. These messages work great as alerts and flash messages to instantly alert any concerned parties.
Social Media Platforms
With the increasing number of internet users, social media is the most effective way to deliver information to the community. For instance, social media was used to spread awareness during COVID-19. According to user statistics, there was an average of 2 billion active users on Whatsapp, Youtube, and Facebook in 2020, so it can prove to be immediately effective to use social media platforms as a communication tool.
Although most of us consider email as an old-fashioned mode of communication in this modern era, it is still another way you can reach out to the community. An email gives you the option of labeling whether the message is of high priority or not; this way, you can alert the community and provide them with the necessary information in greater detail
Install the Right Equipment
One of the ways to improve your emergency communications is to install the right equipment. You need to consider several things while choosing the right equipment, for instance, the equipment must have long battery life, can withstand extreme weather conditions, and is reliable. It would also be better if such equipment had emergency buttons that could trigger an alarm when pressed. In short, proper emergency communications equipment will help you stay informed during an emergency and respond quickly and appropriately. Therefore, it is important to invest in the right equipment.
It’s important to monitor the system constantly to ensure everything is working. You can do this by regularly updating your systems and replacing them when needed. This will help you avoid unnecessary interruptions and interference with your communication. It is also important to note that emergency situations can occur anytime and affect anyone. As an emergency manager, you can improve emergency communications by following the tips we’ve mentioned in this article.