‘To Do’ List To Avoid Communication Breakdowns

Preparing an organization to mitigate against communication breakdown scenarios will require a financial commitment to:

Replace aging, proprietary communications equipment that is susceptible to breakage and system downtime.

Configure redundant backup telecommunication systems that will serve you during internal system outages.

Establish relationships with Alternate Local Exchange Carriers that can support you when your primary carriers systems are compromised. You can ask your 911 service provider, query trade magazines, and network with local businesses as to potential ALECs in your area.

Upgrade telephone systems with Enhanced 911 (E-911) technology.

In addition, to prepare for implementing an E-911 system:

Assess your floor plans to determine what numbering and identification processes are already in place, and then consult with your local fire marshal or the person responsible for assisting organizations with the E-911 identification process.

Consider putting signs on interior walls to provide direction for emergency personnel. Since fire, smoke and heat rise, it may be helpful to place signs close to the door.

Dont start from scratch, but instead begin with your existing systems or databases. Use an E-911 software program to import that information directly into the format required by the National Emergency Number Association.

Reproduced from National Underwriter Property & Casualty/Risk & Benefits Management Edition, August 13, 2001. Copyright 2001 by The National Underwriter Company in the serial publication. All rights reserved.Copyright in this article as an independent work may be held by the author.

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