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Using Intranets in Emergency Management. Presented by Steve Davis Principal, All Hands Consulting. Communicating During an Emergency. During an emergency, we need to communicate two basic types of information: details on the situation live, needs to be generated “in real time”

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Using Intranets in Emergency Management

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    1. Using Intranets in Emergency Management Presented by Steve Davis Principal, All Hands Consulting

    2. Communicating During an Emergency During an emergency, we need to communicate two basic types of information: • details on the situation • live, needs to be generated “in real time” • procedures on what to do • reference, should have been prepared long in advance

    3. “Real time” Face 2 Face Conference Calls Loudspeakers Voice mail E-mail Hallway Meetings “Reference” Manuals Forms Contact lists Inventories File Server Intranet Internet Typical Approaches Wouldn’t it be great to combine the two?

    4. Emergency Messaging SystemCan you get your staff the information they need during an emergency or crisis? • There's an emergency in your building. • You use an announcement to put your staff on standby for evacuation. • Employees wait at their desks, wondering what's going on, trying to remember what they're supposed to do for this evacuation scenario. • They don’t know what they did with that emergency procedures leaflet that you sent everyone six months ago, after their last miserable performance on an evacuation drill.

    5. What do staff need to know? • What is going on • What they need to do • Event status • Company procedures • Situation reports • Current information • Corporate response to the event

    6. How do they find out now? • Print Announcements • Bulletin Boards • E-mail Messages • Intranet Surfing • Face-to-Face (Hallway – Elevator) • Rumors and Gossip • Staff Meetings

    7. Printed Materials • Portable and flexible • Does not rely on technology But it’s • Slow, expensive to produce and distribute • Wastes paper • Easy to overlook or ignore • If updates are needed, must reproduce

    8. Print: what people say… • "Our company newsletter is interesting, but by the time I get around to reading it, most of the stuff is out-of-date." • "We find posters good for promoting the corporate values, but they are expensive to print and disseminate, and eventually people stop 'seeing' them." • "We are trying to promote occupational health and safety without bombarding people with emails, so we use more "passive" means - cups, posters, pens, books, etc. We use striking designs to attract attention, but it's expensive and quite inflexible."

    9. Pros cheap and timely easy to create and distribute most staff have skills can be forwarded with comments environmentally friendly targeted at subgroups hyperlinks and attachments can indicate priority Cons easy to overuse - email overload easy to ignore requires action (file, delete) priority settings often not used by sender high potential to use staff time unproductively and create stress can clog up system resources E-mail, Pros and Cons

    10. E-mail: what people say… • “I seem to spend hours every week going through messages which are totally irrelevant." • "People don't act on the urgent messages because they can't find them amongst the junk." • "If we send only one email about a new procedure it doesn't seem to have much impact; if we send it out multiple times they complain!" • "Our network resources are running out because there are so many 'all staff' messages, and people don't delete unwanted messages."

    11. Solving the Primary Communication Challenge • To be effective, internal communication needs multiple exposures. • We need to create continuous, low cost internal communication campaigns. • You want to reduce the number of emails and print materials bombarding your staff, while increasing the effectiveness of your internal communications.

    12. We are in the 21st Century • Staff connected through computer networks • Information stored on company intranets • We just need to expose staff to the information "If only we knew what we know“ - COO, Dell

    13. New Approaches in Using the Net • Push information • Warnings • Alerts • Reminders • Pull information • Plans • Resources • Intelligence • Training • Drills • Exercises • Simulations • Documentation • Plans • Incident Logs • Checklists

    14. New Concepts in Intranet Usage • Sending pop-ups for warnings • Publishing to Screen savers • Sending alert messages that link to resource materials

    15. Things You Can Share • Threat Assessments • Tip of the Day • Server Status • Planned Outages • Virus Alerts • Training Reminders • Forms • Timelines • Contact Lists • Inventories

    16. Using the Intranet for MessagingAn integrated approach • Send instant messages as “Pop-Ups” to all or selected computers • Interrupts whatever staff are doing • Gives them “real-time” information • Include a link to material on the Intranet • Link to evacuation plan while waiting for the signal to go • Updated Threat Assessments

    17. Alert Features • Bypasses normal e-mail system • useful in virus alert situations • Appears instantly on all computer screens • Can give multiple staff the ability to send messages (password protected) • Display who sent, and who authorized, the message • credibility, minimizes risk of hoaxes

    18. Alerting all employees - viruses • A new computer virus is discovered. Maybe it's already in your network. You need to tell your staff about it quickly: what it looks like, what to do, and most importantly, what not to do. • You usually do all-staff communications via email, but chances are, some people will open infected messages before they read your email warning. Your best communication tool is compromised.

    19. A safer way of dealing with viruses • Network alerts lets you send instant messages across the network without using the email system. • They pop up on everyone's screens, no matter what they’re doing, so there's no delay. • You can give people the vital information they need. And you can link it directly to an existing intranet page on virus procedures.

    20. Intranet Pros and Cons • Great for reference material • Can store lots of information • Flexible in size, can have small to large documents • Can be environmentally friendly (depending on whether people print) But It’s • Passive, not a "push" technology – we need to use another means to promote the contents of the Intranet

    21. Intranet: what people say • "We put all this great resource information on our intranet, but people just don't know it's there." • "The search engine on our intranet is great, but if I don't know that something is there, I don't think to go searching for it." • "The company has just decided to promote what's on the intranet. I've seen a few pages of interest to me, but I'm sick of going through all the e-mails

    22. A Better Way-Pushing Content • Turn every computer in your company into and emergency broadcast system. • Use pop-up messaging. • Convert "dead" screen saver time into an internal advertising system. • Every time the screen saver activates, your staff will see important company messages.

    23. How the Intranet can Deliver Push • Replaces "all staff" e-mails and print circulars • Saves money • Effective for messages which need repetition • Timely or can be scheduled ahead of time • Complements static material • Promotes pages without being annoying • Easy to highlight different areas at different times

    24. During / after a phone call After going to see the boss After talking with a colleague After making a cup of tea After a "comfort break" After going to the printer After going through their paper in-tray After reading some papers When Do Staff See Messages? Are your other communications seen this many times?

    25. Content • Company news page • Training Material • Company strategy and direction • Company mission & vision • Industry and project updates • Human resources information • People and recognition • Safety guidelines

    26. Promote your Intranet • Your intranet site is a great resource for your staff. But do they know what's there? • How do you promote the content of your site to the people who should be using it? • How do you remind them of the many tools and resources they can now access?

    27. Internal Communication Tool • Raising awareness of new procedures • Creating cultural change • Promoting company vision and values • Reminding people of coming events. • Creating community at work • Employee of the month announcements…

    28. Continuous Education The Intranet can be used as a vehicle for creating a learning organization, by: • Reminding people of training schedules • Promoting the value of learning and continuous education • Providing knowledge and skills about working effectively

    29. iManage WorkSite ePortal PointCast Agentware BackWeb InfoMagnet Castanet Smart Delivery WebCast Pro Centra Miramba SmartPage Plenty of Vendors

    30. Example - ePoster

    31. Pop-ups “Real-time” information – pops up over whatever is on your screen

    32. Brings up Related Information

    33. Contact Information Steve Davis, Principal All Hands Consulting Presentation will be available at