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Exercising emergency communications plans is a critical task as it enables organizations to simulate a communications response and it also measures their effective level of preparedness in case of an actual event. The just released BCI Emergency Communications Report 2019 aims to provide guidelines on how to build an effective emergency communications plan and raise awareness on best practices.

Emergency communications plans are vital as it helps organizations to simulate events but also to measure their level of preparedness in case of an actual event. The report findings indicate that 47% of respondents exercise their plans at least once a year, a 5% increase from last year (42% to 47%). This year witnessed one of the sharpest declines in the number of organizations that claim to have regularly scheduled exercise by 19% (30% to 11%). Moreover, 14% of the organizations either never exercised their plans or do so on an ad-hoc basis.

Additional Emergency Communications Report findings detail that:

  • Business Continuity is the main function that manages the emergency communications processes (42%), followed by corporate communications (24%), security management (11%) and risk management (8%).
  • Adverse weather (62%) is the number one trigger of emergency communications plans. This shows an increase of 8% from the previous year (54% to 62%).
  • For a successful plan, 66% activate their plans within one hour, 67% would escalate communications to top management within an hour and 80% achieved their ideal response levels.
  • The ideal emergency communications team includes BC Manager, Corporate Communications and Risk Manager. It is crucial to gather accurate information during a crisis. Most practitioners rely on up-to-date contact details, checking weather alerts, collaborating with local authorities, reviewing official social media accounts and other traditional media channels.
  • IoT solutions can help response and escalate communications to top management rapidly. This has great influence on day-to-day work within Emergency Communications and Crisis Management and therefore this needs to be considered carefully when planning and implementing solutions.

More information is available by contacting Business Continuity Institute Content Manager Jeyda Karamehmet: jeyda.karamehmet@thebci.org. The report can be downloaded via The BCI.org.

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