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How to Use Logs and Reporting in Crisis Communication Planning

reportsWe talk a lot here about the role AtHoc has in the testing and planning that takes place before a crisis, and how to use AtHoc during a crisis. However, AtHoc also delivers great value after the incident is over, often in ways that are not immediately obvious.

This blog was written by Division Counsel at AtHoc, Noah Webster.

AtHoc’s structured approach to crisis communications means that users have a number of ways to revisit the communications flow after an emergency has been resolved. These data logs and records provide many valuable details, starting with, but not limited to, the following:

  • When a specific communication was issued
  • If and when receipt of communication was acknowledged
  • The classification of response, such as acceptance of task, refusal of task, or type of information conveyed
  • Meta information surrounding each session – means used for outreach, location of recipient, length of communication

Performance Evaluation and Program Improvement

There are many options in the industry that can allow you send out notices. But, are those notices effective? Do they achieve the intended objectives? Did the all of the target recipients receive the notice? Did they open the message? Did they respond?

One important role for a crisis communication platform is to collect information to improve staff performance before the next crisis happens. That is why AtHoc is so useful for training exercises. There is little ambiguity as to whether key staff could be reached, if they responded and performed as expected, and where additional training might be needed.

The next possible use lies within the crisis communications and emergency preparedness plans themselves. Untested plans have a tendency to give way when put under pressure. AtHoc supports drills, practice events and simulated emergencies by delivering the data necessary to uncover where crisis containment worked as intended, and where an organization needs to refine its planning before an actual event takes place.

Another way that AtHoc’s logging and reporting benefits customers is with its ability to comply with FEMA preparedness planning and other standardized procedures for emergency response. Different organizations are likely to implement these guidelines in slightly varied ways. Those using AtHoc can compare training results from shared exercises to see how these gaps can be closed and performance improved.

Legal Risk Mitigation and Regulatory Compliance

The next two areas touch on legal issues that many planners do not take into account when thinking about crisis communications. We have already talked about performance evaluation for staff. If individuals need to improve, AtHoc can provide a basis for coaching.

These insights are important to minimize disputes that can result in legal or human resources issues. Individuals might not realize how they can improve workplace safety until shown the evidence. Likewise, individuals who may be unfairly criticized for poor performance can respond with data. This data-based approach is especially useful in unionized environments, in which documented coaching is important.

Managers at all levels, from first-line supervisors to the board of directors, require a plan for emergency response and proof of effectiveness to meet regulatory obligations. AtHoc can help provide the data needed to show that a preparedness plan has been properly implemented and tested as part of a safe workplace that complies with OSHA and other regulations. AtHoc system data can also show that the organization’s preparedness plan was followed in time of crisis, with results in line with reasonable expectations.

This information can feed directly into industry or governmental certification programs to detail how the organization performed. It can, in some circumstances, even be used as part of a legal defense in the event of a lawsuit.

AtHoc delivers value far beyond its roots as a crisis communications platform. Its logging and reporting capabilities carry direct benefits for performance review, coaching, and subsequent personnel action, legal liability, and more.

This is all part of our commitment to delivering complete, high-performance solutions for our customers that can protect property and save lives.

This was originally posted as “Logs and Reporting to the Rescue” on the AtHoc blog.

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