Is Winter That Dangerous?
Sure, spring, summer and even early fall months generally bring us more severe weather, such as hurricanes, tornadoes, and strong thunderstorms, but the winter months can wreak their own havoc. We pulled the following common winter dangers straight from NOAA:
- Wind – Some winter storms have extremely strong winds that can create blizzard conditions with blinding, wind-driven snow, drifting, and dangerous wind chills. These intense winds can bring down trees and poles, and can also cause damage to homes and other buildings.
- Snow – Heavy snow accumulations can immobilize a region and paralyze a city, strand motorists, stop the flow of supplies, and disrupt emergency services. Buildings may collapse, and trees and power lines can be destroyed by heavy snow.
- Ice – Heavy ice accumulations can bring down objects like trees, utility poles and lines, and communication towers. Power can be disrupted or lost for days while utility companies repair the damage.
Winter weather can disrupt life, including business operations, for days, even weeks. Is your company ready? Do you have the systems in place to keep your employees informed during a winter event? If email is your go-to, how do you plan on using it effectively to reach every employee without power? Can you be certain every employee will get the messages?
Remaining Resilient During Dangerous Winter Weather
Perhaps one bright spot with a winter storm is that they are generally predictable. Unlike a tornado, winter weather can be planned for days ahead of time. The downside is that severe winter storms can seem to last for days and cause damage that can take weeks to repair. During this time, your employees need a place where they can find information about business operations.?
AlertMedia recently introduced a new feature in its comprehensive emergency communications software called Event Pages. An Event Page is a real-time information hub to link companies with their employees during any event, particularly a crisis or ongoing situation where the flow of information is constant.
Instead of sending out lengthy messages each time there is an update to a situation, creating an Event Page around each event, such as blizzards, power outages, road closures, and office closures, puts all of the related information in one place – with no limits to message length. Employees visit a single page where they can find updates, photos and videos, pertinent documents, and even moderated employee comment streams.
While an Event Page may not enable an organization to get the power turned on or roads cleared any faster, it can ensure employees stay connected and informed in real time. When the business is able to open again, employees will be ready. Organizations can use Event Pages to stay resilient and responsive, even when others are still trying to get organized.
What An Event Page Can Do
Think of an Event Page like a social media page, dedicated strictly to a single event. The page can be named, for example, “January 2018 Winter Storm.” An administrator can quickly set up the page from their AlertMedia dashboard and automatically send every affected employee a message with a link directing them to the Event Page. Messages can be sent via SMS text, app push notifications, emails, any custom channel, or all simultaneously. When there is an update to the page, the administrator can choose to send another notification to alert employees to check the page.
When employees receive the notification, all they have to do to see the updates is click on the provided link. They are immediately directed to the “January 2018 Winter Storm” event page. There, employees can see admin updates, photos, videos, and other helpful information. They are always in the know with what is going on and what next steps they may need to take. Employees can submit feedback, comments, photos, and videos for administrators to review, and optionally post to the page.
Best practices dictate that administrators should stay in touch with power companies, news outlets, weather radars, traffic maps, and business leaders, then post any updates to the page. Instead of employees having to find this information themselves, everything is in one place. This saves everyone time and guarantees employees are getting the same information.