School communities rely on the timely and accurate communication of many sectors to carry out an effective emergency response. It’s a complex network that involves the interaction of local, state, and national actors coordinating resources to prevent or reduce negative impact.
Previously, we’ve shared tips for drafting a crisis communication strategy to ensure that emergency alerts, safety instructions, and in some cases, rescue and recovery plans, are transmitted, received and responded to by the right people.
This time, we’re covering the communication tools that streamline collaboration between the school organization and various external agencies and provide a decisive edge in responding during, before and after an emergency event.
1. Digital Communication Hub
As soon as an emergency event occurs, a range of stakeholders need to be alerted and updated, including staff, parents, neighboring schools, emergency responders and related government bodies. The best way to organize messages across a multitude of contacts is through a centralized portal or hub that is accessible to all required parties, feeding real time information on unfolding events in order to facilitate coordinated action.
A useful communication portal does more than just transmit critical communications. It should also be integrated with management & monitoring systems to be able to track receipt and provide visibility when the message has been actioned or not.
2. Mobile Emergency Alerts
Emergency alert apps can be tailored to the needs of the school population. For example, it can use a one-touch activation to directly call for help and GPS locators can alert responders to reach them fast.
When urgent communication is required, mobile accelerates the speed of notification – whereas the average text message is accessed within a few minutes and responded to within 30 minutes. An alert app with a direct line to first responders, triggers automatically from the communications platform and generates an even faster response.
3. Multi-channel Platform
Communication and workflow automation, combined with integrated monitoring systems, provide school emergency managers with a powerful tool to design, execute and streamline critical communications.
Such tools allow them to send tailored messages with ease across various communication channels, ie – voice, SMS, Social Media, Rich Messages or email – for timely delivery and acknowledgement.
Geo-location can customize communications even further, like sending multilingual messages appropriate to the recipient’s location, for example.
4. Message Templates
There’s no time to craft an accurate message during a live emergency event. Prepared message templates with specific details, correct language and consistent tone can be sent automatically and trigger the appropriate response. It also prevents lag time and confusion in an already chaotic situation.
Where possible, your communication hub or portal must have a system for organizing and auto-populating message templates ready to go to coordination and resolution teams.
5. Large Digital Displays
Get the attention of large populations by instantly blasting critical emergency instructions on digital billboards. Smart digital displays in classrooms, school corridors, and outdoor displays can show exit routes, instructions, or other communications to carry out emergency procedures. From lockdowns to evacuation holds to health and wellness instructions, large displays can command attention and action in order to close the vulnerability gap in an event and reduce exposure.
Your All-In-One Emergency Communication Tool
HAVRION CONNECT integrates smart communication technologies to create safer schools. With CONNECT you can:
✓ Instantly communicate across multiple sectors to deliver rapid emergency response to those impacted
✓ Customize and automate messaging specific to proximity of event type and audience.
✓ Create a shield of protection over your entire location – inside and outside.
✓ Display clear, customized messaging on Samsung Smart Signages and Guthman outdoor signs.
✓ Virtually connect and coordinate devices, applications, and communication platforms.
✓ Manage sensors, triggers, devices, and displays of digital floor plans from a single, centralized management console.
✓ Design evacuation floor plans with static routes and lockdown procedures for display.
✓ Provide first responders with emergency routes, location maps and other critical information.
Schedule a Virtual Demo to experience how HAVRION CONNECT works to build safer spaces and preserve life.