Be Prepared: Practice Regular Communication with Your Notification Provider

During a crisis is the worst time to find out that there are flaws in the communications portion of your disaster recovery/business continuity plan.

You’ve done everything right. You have an emergency notification provider that you will use to send out a message and ensure delivery to your recipients. And, of course, your employee contact information is all uploaded into the system. That’s great. But, have you really done everything?

We’ve seen the scenarios before.

You only have one person at your company authorized to send a message. And that person has either left the company or isn’t available when it comes time to enact your notification plan.

Or maybe it’s a time of crisis and you are too frazzled to remember your important system login credentials.

In many cases, these pitfalls can be avoided by establishing regular communication with your vendor. And yes, this means communicating before an emergency to prevent complications during an emergency. Make it a part of your business continuity testing routine to reach out to your notification provider and update them with any key changes to your personnel.

If an authorized user has left your company, take time to remove them from your list. Or, more importantly, if you have hired a new employee that should have authority to send an alert, contact your account manager to ensure that the employee is set up with all necessary credentials and system education.

And, oh, the forgotten passwords. It seems like I have dozens of passcode combinations to remember on a daily basis. My home security system, my laptop, my email account, the office alarm code, the office network connection code. And that’s all before 9am.

With all of those daily-used codes floating around in my head, remembering a scarcely used passcode – especially during a high stress situation – seems daunting.

However, I do know this. The codes that I access on a regular basis are second nature to me. I could practically type my old cell phone passcode in my sleep.

That’s why logging into your notification platform regularly is critical. It helps your practice your log in information, while understanding the security measures that your provider has taken to protect your information and prevent potential abuse of the system.

Plus, many notification providers have a system dashboard in which they communicate important updates, notify you of system outages, and provide free user webinars and tutorials. By logging into your system regularly, you are able to access key information from your vendor that you might have otherwise missed.

Regular communication with your vendor, whether by logging in to your system, sending an email, or making a quick phone call as a part of your regular BC/DR testing can improve the execution of your plan and protect against preventable mistakes in your communication notifications.