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Media Advisory: As the 2012 Tornado Season Moves Into High Gear MIR3 Urges Employers to Prepare for Disruption(May 07, 2012)
SAN DIEGO, CA -- (Marketwire) -- 05/07/12 -- Dozens of tornadoes have already ravaged the Midwest and more recently, Texas, making it clear the season is quickly moving into high gear. MIR3, Inc., the innovator of real-time Intelligent Notification and response technology, is urging employers to review their business continuity and disaster recovery (BC/DR) plans to keep employees safe and operations running should a devastating twister strike.
Last year 1,688 tornadoes wrought havoc in the US in 2011, causing 552 fatalities and marking the deadliest season since 1925. 2012 is starting off to be another tragic one, with many lives already lost and homes and businesses destroyed. Even as weary citizens and business leaders clear the rubble, they are bracing themselves for even more storms as spring develops.
Employers in tornado-prone areas should prepare for risks associated with these storms that can impact business operations, including mass power outages, property damage and potential physical harm to employees. As well as distributing information to staff about the importance of home preparedness, businesses must include tornado preparedness in business continuity planning.
Technologies like mass notification systems give businesses the ability to communicate with employees, partners, and customers during interruptions from natural disasters like tornadoes. Notification systems can also alert company officials when IT systems fail and a backup is necessary and can assist in alert and directing response teams.
To reduce the impact of natural disasters like tornadoes in the workplace, MIR3 executives are currently offering employers and enterprises the following tips on best practices to follow when examining BC/DR plans:
- Understand communication needs -- When an emergency strikes, your company must maintain clear and effective channels of communication in order to assess damage and coordinate recovery efforts. Because essential business operations can be affected at any stage, be sure to have a reliable way to communicate important messages to employees and first responders, such as a mass notification system
- Choose a system that offers a range of features -- When selecting a notification system, research its capabilities and look for systems that allow two-way communication over a variety of channels, including land line, fax, mobile, Short Message Service (SMS), Blackberry PIN-to-PIN, email, and more. These advanced features are important in helping you deliver urgent and important messages to those who need information in a crisis
- Ensure systems are up to date -- Regularly check recipient lists to ensure that all contact information is up-to-date so when a disaster occurs, business continuity planners can be confident that notifications are being delivered to the right person on the right device
- Create escalation plans -- In times of crises, the proper people must be contacted quickly. Intelligent notification systems have integrated mechanisms that support a call escalation process. If the first person contacted is not the right one for the situation, the system will automatically follow up with the next appropriate person via a previously established hierarchy
- Train people and test systems -- When creating BC/DR plans, it's important to properly train staff on how to use the notification system so they can send and monitor the entire alert process. This not only manages communication more effectively, but studies show that companies who educate their employees correctly get significantly greater response rates. Be sure to test alert systems during normal business hours and address any glitches at that time. A rule of at least two system tests per year is a recommended industry standard to follow
- Incentivize employees to sign up for notifications - When a notification system is installed, it's important that all user contact information is saved within the system's files so that staff can be alerted on personal communication devices if need be. Some companies offer drawings, prizes and awards to ensure that all personnel are registered to receive reliable and speedy notifications
- Establish steps to follow after the disaster -- Once a crisis is resolved, be prepared to advise staff on any measures needed to return the business to normalcy. Take an honest look back and elicit feedback from staff to improve your process to see if there are ways your company could react or communicate better in the future. Be sure to communicate with staff and elicit their feedback as well reactive measures will enable organizations to return to normal operations as quickly as possible and will help them better prepare for future crises
MIR3 has notification and business continuity experts available to speak and expand on the importance of implementing the steps above. Please contact Carol Tiernan at firstname.lastname@example.org to speak with any of these experts.
MIR3, Inc. is the leading developer of Intelligent Notification and response software, which helps organizations enhance communication abilities, protect assets, and increase operational efficiency. MIR3 technology enables advanced rapid, two-way communication for IT, business continuity, and enterprise operations for many of the Global FORTUNE 100 companies, as well as government entities, universities, and companies of all sizes in more than 130 countries. For more information, visit www.mir3.com. Follow MIR3 on Twitter: @MIR3. Visit the MIR3 blog: www.mir3.com/blog.
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