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Everything You Need to Know About Emergency Risk Management

Emergency Risk ManagementEmergency risk management (ERM) is the process of identifying potential threats and minimizing the impact of disasters on business operations and people. The process requires leaders within an organization to determine how they will keep stakeholders informed and safe during critical events. Leaders must also craft disaster recovery plans to quickly remedy the effects of a catastrophic event on communities, government agencies and organizations.

As the rate of critical events increases, keeping people connected throughout the crisis life cycle is more important than ever before. In this article, discover how organizations can streamline crisis communications and act proactively before, during and after an event.

What Is Emergency Risk Management?

The Australian Department of Home Affairs defines emergency risk management (ERM) as, “[The] series of tools and processes, and a general philosophy, that can be used by communities … [to acquire] auditable and credible means of reducing risk.” The ERM process establishes safety and communication measures to reduce the impact of risk situations.

ERM can be applied across many sectors including, government, healthcare, higher education, IT operations and more. Regardless of industry sector, leaders must quickly inform people of crisis situations, such as active shooters, natural disasters, pandemics and other global or local events.

Managing disasters effectively requires risk management leaders to:

  1. Identify, evaluate and prioritize potential threats.
  2. Establish procedures and safety measures.
  3. Immediately notify people of critical, time-sensitive events.
  4. Deploy disaster recovery programs and business continuity strategies.

Why Is Emergency Risk Management Important?

Consequences of not prioritizing ERM includes financial losses, business downtime, displaced and uninformed persons. If leaders do not prioritize emergency planning, they jeopardize the wellbeing of stakeholders during a crisis. When organizations are unprepared for the unexpected, fatalities and injuries are more likely to occur. 

ERM adds clarity to event response, and it ensures people know how to properly react to critical situations. Leaders can get the best of emergencies when they consider the tools and processes needed to manage a critical situation. ERM is essential in restoring business operations and ensuring that people return to “normal life” promptly.

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Emergency Risk Management Requires Emergency Mass Notifications

Risk management leaders require an effective, immediate way to contact stakeholders during a crisis. Seconds count in an emergency, and information sharing must be immediate when countless lives are on the line. 

Organizations must adopt emergency mass notification software (EMNS) to broadcast simultaneous, real-time messages to stakeholders. According to Gartner, “EMNSs automate the distribution and management of messages to relevant stakeholders for localized events and catastrophic disasters across multiple channels … [including] organizational crises, business-critical operations … and public and personal safety.” EMNS solutions can deliver messages across many channels including SMS, voice and email. These widely distributed messages ensure that all stakeholders are well-informed of an ongoing crisis.

Key capabilities and features of EMNS tools include:

  • Editable message templates to expedite the crisis notification process.
  • Message acknowledgements to view when recipients have read the critical message.
  • Centralized contact directory to manage enterprise contacts.
  • Multiple channels to deliver critical and emergency messages.
  • Accelerated critical message delivery.
  • Message delivery to an unlimited number of contacts
  • Contextual messages with instructions to ensure recipients act appropriately in times of crisis.
  • Up-to-date contact information through self-registration forms

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Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Planning

A disaster recovery plan (DRP) is a crucial, essential piece of the ERM process. DRPs document the activities, procedures and tools needed to overcome the consequences of a disaster. For instance, risk management leaders can leverage EMNS solutions to inform people about reopening statuses, postponements and other urgent matters. 

Disaster recovery documents must be crafted before an event and deployed after the critical event. Post-incident programs are important, as they offer guidance on surviving a disaster and minimizing the duration of the event. At its core, the objective of DRPs is to get business operations and lives back to normal. 

Perfect Emergency Risk Management With OnPage’s BlastIT EMNS

BlastIT, OnPage’s mass notification system, enhances emergency communication management plans. With BlastIT, organizations can immediately reach responders and other relevant message recipients. The system is fast, efficient and reliable and can be used for any critical event.

BlastIT does not require message recipients to have any necessary hardware or software other than a mobile phone. The system notifies recipients 90 percent faster than traditional messaging and streamlines effective mass notifications in emergency situations.

Conclusion

Risk management leaders require an effective way to reduce the impact of an unexpected or potential threat on business and community. When time is of the essence and people’s lives are at stake, leaders must look toward emergency risk management to overcome any crisis.

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