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Your emergency preparedness plan: Why it needs to include text messaging

By Brandon Daniell, President, Dialog Health

While listening to the news headlines during my commute, I kept being reminded of the motto of the Boy Scouts: "Be Prepared." Be it natural disaster, weather, power outage or new potential threats, how would your business handle communication with your employees, customers and other stakeholders?


Late last year, we had an article featured in Becker's ASC Review discussing reasons why surgery centers need a mass communication plan. In reality, all businesses need such a plan. Here are four of the scenarios when businesses will need to deploy a mass communication plan as highlighted in the Becker's article. I've added a fifth after today's commute.


1. Disasters. Disasters have the potential to wreak havoc on a business. An effective mass communication plan will inform stakeholders of changes in operations.


2. Weather. As with disasters, the likes of a blizzard, tornado or hailstorm can force a business to at least temporarily close. Delays in conveying time-sensitive updates to individuals planning to travel to the building will create increased risk.


3. Power outages. While some businesses have backup generators, their use is intended as temporary. During times of extended power outages, businesses will want to inform key stakeholders with relevant updates until the power is fully restored.


4. Active shooters and workplace violence. Mass communication can inform staff of what is happening during such incidents, helping them make decisions to aid in the response and keep others away from the location.


5. Unknown. As the president of a company, I have found myself thinking about communication with my employees if the coronavirus or another new development rapidly spreads in the country and forces disruption of our daily business activities.


The article featured in Becker's ASC Review goes on to explain why text messaging should be the mass communication method of choice for ASCs.


Since businesses of all types can expect to experience the scenarios outlined above, texting should be an essential communication part of their emergency preparedness plan. The time to deploy texting is well before it is needed.


Stay prepared, stay healthy and stay safe.

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