December 09, 2014 08:00 ET

AtHoc Survey Reveals Corporate Emergency Communications Best Practices

Top-Tier Organizations 55 Percent More Likely to Resolve Emergencies Within an Hour

SAN MATEO, CA--(Marketwired - Dec 9, 2014) - AtHoc, Inc., the leader in network-centric interactive crisis communication systems, today announced the findings from its State of Emergency Readiness Survey. The results show that businesses that place a high priority on communications during an emergency have much more favorable outcomes.

The 2014 State of Emergency Readiness Survey was administered to IT personnel representing 200 enterprises in the United States. The results yielded four key findings related to communications in a crisis.

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Crisis Communication Plans Are Crucial
According to 81 percent of survey respondents, crisis communication planning is somewhat to extremely important to the organization. Emphasizing this importance is the related finding that on average organizations have experienced two emergency incidents within the last three years. However, only 42 percent have actually completed a crisis communication plan.

Crisis Communication Plans Are Complex
Second, the survey revealed that crisis communication plans are complex to create and implement. On average, plans include 16 different employees who play a role during a crisis. Plans are also updated and distributed every four months. Furthermore, respondents indicated that it takes one to two hours to contact 80 percent of the key people involved in the plan.

Top-Tier Organizations Follow Best Practices
AtHoc used respondents' communication practices to separate organizations into top- and bottom-tier companies. When survey responses were analyzed through this lens, the results indicated that top-tier businesses are 56 percent more likely to rate having a plan as extremely important. They are also 60 percent more likely to have a crisis communication plan in place, and 5.6 times more likely to store their plan in the cloud to improve access in the event of a network outage.

Top-Tier Organizations Have More Favorable Outcomes
As a result of the best practices top-tier organizations follow, they are able to notify key personnel twice as fast in an emergency. They are also 55 percent more likely to resolve an emergency within an hour. In addition, they reported a reduced likelihood of suffering additional negative effects from an emergency, such as lost sales and fines due to regulatory noncompliance.

Becoming a Top-Tier Organization
Because a crisis communication plan improves employee safety as well as company resilience in the event of an emergency, AtHoc recommends taking these steps to establishing and maintaining a plan:

  • Gather real-time feedback from employees in the emergency situation for situational awareness across the enterprise.
  • Maintain up-to-date contact information so employees can be contacted quickly through automated processes.
  • Utilize a communication system that allows employees to respond to notifications for accountability purposes.
  • Deploy a system that sends notifications through multiple channels including voice, text, desktop, digital signage and lights -- anything to get employees' attention and interrupt their workflow.
  • Unify notification distribution through a single system to provide a consistent voice across channels and optimize response times.
  • Deploy a system with the ability to communication both internally and externally with affiliated organizations.

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About AtHoc
AtHoc is the recognized leader, innovator and trusted partner in network-centric interactive crisis communication systems. AtHoc's products are used for physical security, business continuity, employee protection, personnel accountability, staff recall and regulatory compliance for military, homeland security, government, healthcare, industrial and commercial organizations. AtHoc was recently awarded Government Security News' (GSN) award for Best Mass Notification System and has also been recognized by Gartner, Inc. as a leader in its Magic Quadrant for Emergency Mass Notification Services and by IHS Inc. as The Fastest Growing Mass Notification Software Supplier. For more information about AtHoc, please visit