Now that the Canadian government has launched Alert Ready - Canada’s National Public Alerting System, it’s important to consider how this affects your business’ emergency plans, and how to modify them moving forward.
Developed by federal, provincial and territorial governments, Alert Ready is designed to deliver critical and potentially life-saving alerts in real-time. The alerts will be delivered to Canadians through television, radio, and starting April 6, 2018, SMS messages on wireless devices connected to an LTE network.
The alerts will be received immediately, relevant to your location, so you know when to take action to keep yourself, your employees, and your business safe. If your device happens to be turned off, on WiFi or airplane mode, the emergency alert will be displayed when your device and LTE signal is turned back on.
Alerts will be issued for every type of emergency, including, but not limited to:
- Natural disasters
- Biological contaminations
- Hazardous explosives
- Poor air quality
- Terrorist threats
- Civil emergencies
Now that Alert Ready has been introduced, how will it affect your business? Here are some tips and starting points to reevaluate your existing emergency management plans and ensure your business continuity strategies in place:
1. Compare Alert Ready’s emergency list with your list of hazards and threats
Alert Ready has predetermined emergencies and events that warrant an alert, but will it provide alerts for all the threats your organization may face? First, ensure you understand the hazards and threats that are relevant to your business and identify what situations Alert Ready will NOT notify you of. At the same time, ensure your emergency response protocols are consistent across the board, whether they’re in response to an Alert Ready notification or not.
2. Review emergency activation & notification process
Your employees will now be informed of emergencies at a personal level via the Alert Ready SMS messages. While this ensures everyone is notified rapidly of potentially harmful situations, from a business perspective, you should have procedures in place to provide subsequent instructions to employees once the Alert Ready message has been received. Review your emergency activation and notification process flow and discuss this with your team to determine necessary actions and required revisions to existing plans.
3. Designate on-call emergency contact for alerts
To support your organization when an Alert Ready notification is received, designate someone on your team (or two people) to be the on-call emergency contact(s). Make sure their phones receive test alerts successfully. Next, outline the subsequent steps to take for each type of alert, once an alert is received.
Now that you have the steps to re-evaluate your existing emergency plans, it’s time to put them to the test!
Looking for more emergency management tips? Download our fact sheet to learn the 6 Benefits of Evaluating your Emergency Management Program.