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# 106444 24-Jul-2012 14:20
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I am drafting up a DR Communication plan and am interested to know what methods people have used in the past to communicate from a business to their employees? 

Thanks!

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  # 661054 24-Jul-2012 14:59
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  # 661211 24-Jul-2012 19:22
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My current employer used both SMS and voice calls to contact staff after the Canterbury Earthquakes. SMS was sent to all staff registered with the service without replies expected, voice calls were made to all staff directly afterwards. Time consuming but effective.

 
 
 
 




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  # 661273 24-Jul-2012 20:31
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Thanks kingjj. Do you happen to know what sms service you used? We are looking into Vodafone's multitxt service as we have most of our staff's mobile phone numbers recorded in our HR Payroll system. Although, I am not sure what limitations there are when using this system - can we send out a txt to 400 staff all at once?

I think an initial SMS or voice call is the way to go directing them to a another method of contact such as a website/social media page/account. 

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  # 661277 24-Jul-2012 20:32
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Remembrer SMS is not a reliable service - in the event of a catastrophic situation, SMS might not be delivered at all if mobile network is congested. It's an on best effort basis.




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  # 661317 24-Jul-2012 21:09
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A good alternative to the robust paging service is TeamTalk's Mobile Radio service. They cover a majority of New Zealand via their own network of radio towers.

As I understand it, TeamTalk's radio service held up very well during the CHCH earthquakes.

www.teamtalk.co.nz

(*I work for TeamTalk, although not in mobile radio)


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  # 662314 26-Jul-2012 12:29
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Many of the people at our work use smartphones, we found that email was more reliable at coming through during the earthquakes when network congestion slowed texting and voice calls down.

 
 
 
 


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  # 662322 26-Jul-2012 12:43
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Having been through more disasters (earthquakes + fires destroying buildings) than I'd like, we found:

- Email as first method of communication
- Website with basic info/status updates
- Password protected area for staff to update their:
(1) Personal availability
ie are they even in the frame of mind to be thinking about work yet
(2) Resources that they might be able to share
eg. generators, internet link, printers, coffee!
(3) Status of items that they are working on
(4) Alternative forms of contact
eg. if they are suddenly working remotely, what the best way to contact them is.

Nigel H.



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  # 662423 26-Jul-2012 14:58
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Lots of great ideas coming through. I don't think we have the budget to give every staff member (over 400) a radio handset prior to a disaster, but could be a goer for key persons such as senior management etc. Using staff's personal devices such as mobiles or home email is key as at least then if the disaster happened outside of work hours there is more of a chance they will have access to whatever communications we put out.

From what I'm reading there is no one solution, but a solution should be made from many different technologies and be highly resilient. 

Thanks everyone for your contributions so far - anyone else feel free to add your ideas.

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  # 662439 26-Jul-2012 15:24
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Do the mobile networks have the ability to do a 'page' or cell broadcast type notification in such a situation.

Paging essentially works by sending a coded signal which every pager in range receives, and decides based on coding if it is the intended recipient.

Surely mobile phone networks could do something similar? Ie every device within range of a cell tower receives a 'broadcast' alert and displays it?

I realise this doesn't help the OP - but I would have through mobiles could essentially behave in the same way as pagers with cell broadcast (and maybe display a 'page' message only intended for a set of MSISDNs or something?




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  # 662447 26-Jul-2012 15:31
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ajobbins: Do the mobile networks have the ability to do a 'page' or cell broadcast type notification in such a situation.

Paging essentially works by sending a coded signal which every pager in range receives, and decides based on coding if it is the intended recipient.

Surely mobile phone networks could do something similar? Ie every device within range of a cell tower receives a 'broadcast' alert and displays it?

I realise this doesn't help the OP - but I would have through mobiles could essentially behave in the same way as pagers with cell broadcast (and maybe display a 'page' message only intended for a set of MSISDNs or something?


Sounds like something that would be useful for tsunami warning systems - every cell tower within cooee of the beach sends an alert txt to every phone in range...

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  # 662939 27-Jul-2012 13:56
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Within Telecom during Christchurch a Facebook page for all staff to post on was setup and an IVR that staff can dial into for more information and to contact HR if they needed assistance.

The beauty of Facebook was many staff had smartphones or go to an internet cafe so they could check the Facebook page for company wide information to be disseminated down to all staff members.  Plus it was the place that people could go for wanted or offers such as people needing a generator/builder or offering up beds in their undamaged house.

There were many staff members who left the CBD without their laptops or any equipment to get themselves into the corporate network apart from web mail so Facebook worked well in that regard.

This was over and above the existing e-mail + sms for staff members where managers were responsible for their direct reports and so on down the org chart.

Very interesting time for a company the size of Telecom and considering that the majority of workers were inside the 4 avenues and I don't think any of the main buildings have any staff in them even to this date due to them all still being inside the CBD red zone.

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  # 662948 27-Jul-2012 14:13
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We've looked into a message on our IVR, but recording a specific message and getting onto the right place on the right server is a bit fiddly. We're setting up a generic "this site is closed, check the main website or call your site manager" message that can be swapped in easily enough. With a bit of scripting, we can probably leave the keys in the hand of a facilities manager to push the button.
When our Lincoln site got the wobbles, we had a message on the front page of our main public website, and basically a phone tree of managers calling their people, and down through the org-chart, then reporting back up.
We seem to get reasonably frequent site outages over the years - snow days down South, floods in Palmy, shakes in Canty. Here in Hamiltron, nothing ever happens, so I keep turning up to work.

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  # 662953 27-Jul-2012 14:22
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Yes , it did work out very well for those of us at Telecom Chch, as Peter mentions. While the networks were congested, when we were all out and home (took hours) communication was almost normal, and we had these many avenues of contact from our management, both for support, and for where we go work wise. Work was a low issue or no issue for the days after, the key Telecom wanted was for family, and get yourself sorted first. These days we all have laptops that we take home, with VPN. And we are spread far and wide in ChCh, giving us redundancy should we have another issue.

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