Tuesday, March 23, 2010

White Paper: Best Practices in Emergency Alerting

This White Paper developed by Rave Wireless is designed to assist colleges and universities in their emergency management practices. The paper provides an initial overview of the fundamentals of emergency management practices. After establishing these fundamentals, the paper goes on to underline the best practices in emergency preparedness and establishing a communication/alert system for a college or university community.Additionally, the article provides templates for internal assessment.

Emergency Preparedness Best Practices
The initial pages of the article provide a number of Best Practices in Emergency Management for colleges and universities. These best practices focus on internal assessment to improve the effectiveness of emergency preparedness programs. This assessment is formed from successful practices used by other colleges and universities.

Best practices in Emergency Preparedness:Strategic Planning
-Assess and rank threats
-Identify prevention methods
-Define what constitutes and emergency
-Identify constituents and their roles
-Conduct assessments of situation and assess resource gaps
-Define scenarios and time lines for completing plans

Communication Plan Practices
Similar to the papers presentation on preparedness best practices, the article also provides best practices for implementing an emergency communication plan. Practices outlined are based on both company technical recommendations and practices employed by other colleges and universities. These practices relate to aspects from the implementation of a system to post incident evaluation of the system.

-Create communication processes, templates and approval procedures
-Define acceptable terms for emergency mass communications
-Determine target audience(s) specifics
-Identify the appropriate mode of communication for each audience
-Consider coverage and capacity limitations of your available communication modes
-Consider implementation of an inbound notification infrastructure
-Define coordination around the approval process in detail
-Establish policies for the frequency and level of communication
-Create message templates
-Identify alternates and back up plans
-Document and make plans easily accessible
-Communicate the plan to the campus and local community
-Internalize via Practice, Practice, Practice

-Communicate truthfully and promptly, and communicate succinctly
-Be comfortable not over communicating
-Expect to be forced to make decisions based on incomplete information
-Organize your first responders
-Plan to utilize response features in your alert solution

-Determine decisionmakers
-Provide a smooth transition from crisis to normal mode

Evaluation and Assessment
-Perform post-mortem analysis
-Utilize system self reporting

The article itself identifies that best practices used are unique and not always effective to parties utilizing them. Ideally practices in emergency management are designed to all target threats to communities, but often may not be able to address the rapidly changing nature of threats.

1 comment:

  1. It would be interesting to see what universities implement theses best practices from the get go or if some have only implemented them after a campus emergency (reactionary). Did the article mention wireless/ cell phone emergency capabilities to alert students?