In emergencies and crises, a functioning alerting plan is indispensable. In order to be able to act quickly and minimize the negative effects of the sudden event, clear responsibilities and defined alerting channels are required to enable a swift and organized flow of information. A good alerting plan is composed of five different aspects that clearly specify the structure and sequence of the alerting.
The security experts from IDERI explain to you which contents must not be missing in a functioning alerting plan and how the optimal alerting plan is built up step by step.
With the optimal alerting plan for a fast flow of information
In the event of an unexpected event or emergency, the responsible persons or the entire workforce must be informed as quickly as possible. To ensure that the resulting situation can be de-escalated in the best possible way, a structured flow of information for alerting and reporting the event must be guaranteed. Only then can appropriate steps be taken to help resolve the situation.
The alerting plan - the basis for the crisis management system
Of course, it falls under the duty of every employer to have a crisis and emergency management plan in place for their company. In addition to the aspect of organizational liability, which makes the creation of an alerting plan indispensable, the emergency plan also represents a great opportunity for companies. In addition to the classic case of fire, it can also be used for other possible events ranging from utility failure to medical emergency to violent assault, thus providing more safety in a preventive manner.
Five contents for the optimal alarm plan
A complete alerting plan answers the questions of who notifies whom and when. The aim is to create as many clear responsibilities as possible and to record as many details of the alerting process as possible so that no ambiguities remain. The following five aspects give you an overview of the information that should never be missing from an alerting plan.
1. various escalation levels
Sudden events that should trigger an alarm situation can vary greatly in their timing as well as their urgency. For this reason, it proves useful to create a structure consisting of different categories, the so-called escalation levels. A sudden event can be quickly and easily classified into these to better plan next steps and communicate who is specifically responsible for managing the situation.
The different escalation levels are based on different threshold values. A three-part structure of disruptions, emergencies, and crises has proven effective. While the category of disruptions includes all short-term failures of processes with comparatively little damage, an emergency is understood to be a medium-term failure of processes that is associated with considerable damage. The highest escalation level is the crisis, which can be accompanied by existential problems in the long term and throughout the entire company.
2. channels of the event message
Each alarm requires an origin, which reports the event to the responsible persons or to all persons present in the building. The channels of event reporting can be various internal and external entities. Authorities, the immediate environment as well as press and media reports can also be the source of an alarming message in your company.
Technical security systems such as a burglary protection system or a fire alarm system are also particularly popular. These are installed directly on or in the company’s building and detect suspicious developments reliably and at an early stage using sensors or cameras.
3. chain of message forwarding
Since the messages from the different channels also arrive at the most diverse points in the company, they must be optimally processed and forwarded in a target-oriented manner. In order to be able to act outside of core working hours, all alarm messages are continuously received at one or more central points. This first point of contact should be known to all employees.
For example, the office may be the shift supervisor, the on-call supervisor, or an external emergency service dispatch center and is responsible for reviewing the event and relaying the information. The first point of contact here is the relevant specialist department or a specific emergency and crisis officer.
To minimize the risk of misunderstanding, message forwarding should always be communicated in writing. It is also important to provide as precise information as possible on the origin of the information as well as the location of the event and the area of impact. The suspected cause as well as the expected effects must also be stated in the written notification forwarding.
The alerting software IDERI note is a suitable tool for forwarding explosive information quickly, easily and in a targeted manner in the event of an emergency or crisis. It sends an unambiguous desktop message to the relevant departments and people, guaranteeing direct awareness of the event.
4. definition of the immediate measures
If a potentially problematic event has been identified, reported and forwarded, the responsible employees must already take the first immediate measures to minimize the acute danger in the situation. In many cases, the most important immediate measure is to alert the appropriate emergency services, i.e. the police, fire department or ambulance service.
Evacuation of those in the building is also a common immediate action to ensure the safety of the workforce. It should also be defined in the alarm plan how the predefined message chain is structured, which the information now runs through.
5. crisis team for long-term emergency management
In emergencies whose escalation level goes beyond that of a simple, fixable malfunction, long-term crisis management is required. To this end, a crisis team should be established in the alert plan to manage the large-scale and long-term impact of these crises. To simplify communication, you can work with external service providers to minimize disruption to the normal working day.
The alarm plan is the linchpin of emergency and crisis management in a company. It defines very specifically which alarm and reporting channels as well as which measures are to be applied in the event of an incident. In this way, an efficient and speedy emergency response succeeds in limiting the damage to property and persons as far as possible. In addition to drawing up the alerting plan with the above-mentioned five contents, it is also important to train it with regular exercise sessions and to check it for its practical suitability.
IDERI note - the professional tool for alarm situations
Creating a good alarm plan involves not only defining procedures and actions, but also selecting the right communication channels. Only in this way can the steps of emergency response proceed quickly and reliably. IDERI note provides an adequate solution for targeted or enterprise-wide alerting, with all alert messages guaranteed to be noticed by their recipients. If you are interested in our solution, please contact the IDERI team for further details.