Mike Ellis

Mike Ellis is an emergency management professional with an acute appreciation for, and knowledge of the use of social media for communicating during emergencies. Currently, he is the Customer Relationship Manager for Emergency Communications Network (ECN). Ellis has been with ECN for 10 years. Prior to ECN, Ellis was a Promotion and Marketing Director for 18 years in the radio industry.

The New Year is a time of renewal, regrouping, and reflection. It is also, for many people, a time to make resolutions. In fact, 44% of Americans make New Year’s resolutions. Alas, they are easy to make but often just as easy to break.

“A New Year’s resolution is something that goes in one year and out the other.” ~ Author Unknown

While 71% of those who make New Year’s resolutions keep them after two weeks that number drops to 64% after a month and only 50% percent after three months. Could the collapse be connected to the fact that most resolutions are unrealistic? Resolutions such as “eating less sugar”, “spending more time at the gym” or “watching less television” are not only challenging but also typical. As Monty Python said, and now for something completely different… here’s a list of resolutions specifically designed to help you take a fresh look at Emergency Notification for 2010.

1. Tell everyone you have a system

Be sure to inform your staff about the purchase of your high-speed outbound notification system. By simply informing other departments, an opportunity will be granted to share ideas about how the system can be used. The confidence level of all departments will increase when everyone knows that a reliable, robust, easy to use system is available when an emergency strikes.

“As a general rule, the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information.”~ Benjamin Disraeli

2. Train all departments

Along with informing all departments and personnel, training is essential. Each department should have at least one representative who knows how to use the system. Your high-speed notification vendor should be willing to train, assist and educate all people and departments that will be using the system.

“It all has to do with the training: You can do a lot if you’re properly trained.”~ Elizabeth II

3. Test your system

Make sure once you’ve procured an outbound 911 system that you don’t then forget about it until your first emergency occurs. Test your system regularly and consider using it for routine purposes such as keeping your staff informed about meetings, employee recognition or other internal communications tasks.

“Once the races begin it’s more difficult and there is never that much time for testing.” ~ Valentino Rossi

4. Use your system

Encourage your staff to use the system so they feel comfortable with it. When an emergency situation arises, your staff will be ready to use your outbound 911 system with confidence and without hesitation.

“When I learn something new – and it happens every day – I feel a little more comfortable in this universe.” ~ Bill Moyers

5. Communicate with your vendor

Use your high-speed notification vendor as a resource. Your vendor can give you a variety of suggested system uses and real life anecdotes from other clients.

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” ~ George Bernard Shaw

6. Demand excellent service

Demand excellent customer service from your high-speed notification provider. Emergencies don’t always happen during business hours, the company that provides your service should be available to assist you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with live, knowledgeable and pleasant customer service representatives.

“The goal as a company is to have customer service that is not just the best, but legendary.” ~ Sam Walton

7. Don’t procrastinate

If you don’t have a system, make it a priority to research getting one in 2010. Don’t put your community in jeopardy by waiting until you’re waist high in flood water, or up to your roof in snow, or even trapped by wildfires, or torn up by tornadoes before you get an outbound 911 system.

“The best way to get something done is to begin.” ~ Author Unknown

This post was created by Emergency Communications Network (ECN). ECN has developed affordable notification services capable of reaching millions of citizens in minutes. ECN has been in the critical communications business for over a decade, pioneering technology that has delivered more than a billion calls.