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Mar 27 2017

Is Your Organization Ready for IoT?

By Lisa Eifert

Open scene on a mysterious figure furiously typing away at a keyboard. He/she is not only mounting a massive hacking attack which will shut down access to many of the world’s biggest websites and immobilize a huge portion of the internet, but is doing it all using the personal video cameras, televisions, DVRs and routers of hundreds of thousands of unsuspecting individuals.

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Mar 20 2017

To Control or Not? The Mobile Device Management Question

By Lisa Eifert

The mobile device management (MDM) market is growing at a meteoric rate. In fact,  it is estimated to grow from $1.69 billion to 5.32 billion between 2016 and 2021, according to market research firm Markets and Markets. Which may leave you wondering: What is MDM and why does it matter so much? Here’s a closer look at this game-changing technology solution, along with six benefits it offers today’s forward-thinking, bottom line-minded organizations.

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Mar 13 2017

Challenges in Using SMS in an Emergency Situation

By Lisa Eifert

While you may not be able to imagine getting through the day without text messaging, this revolutionary technology—now approaching its 25th birthday—is still in its (relative) infancy. However, since the first text message was sent in 1992, SMS technology has quickly become part of how we function in the modern world. It’s also become part of how businesses communicate with their stakeholders during emergency situations. However, it may not be working as well as you think it is.

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Mar 07 2017

An Outbreak Is Coming: Is Your Organization Ready?

By Lisa Eifert

While Michael Crichton’s bestselling book Outbreak might have been the stuff of fiction, it wasn’t so far off the mark, according to a recent NPR article. It's gist? While it may not be a monkey-borne outbreak of the Matoba variety, the risk of a pandemic is very much a reality due to a rise in infectious diseases around the world. Here’s a closer look at NPR’s findings, along with why it’s important for organizations to take a proactive approach to pandemic planning.

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Feb 27 2017

Forecasters Weigh In: Spring is Coming... and So is Bad Weather

By Lisa Eifert

When Punxsutawney Phil emerged from his den and saw his shadow this past February 2nd, he sentenced us to six more weeks of winter. (Or so the tradition goes.) And as people all over the country now well know, Phil wasn’t kidding: Since Groundhog Day, many regions have been walloped with snow. And it’s not over yet, either, according to more scientific (translation: non-marmot) predictions. Here’s a closer look at recent weather phenomena, along with what meteorologists say is in store for spring.

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Feb 21 2017

SWN Direct: A Revolutionary Mobile App for Recipients

By Lisa Eifert

“Innovation is creativity with a job to do.” That quote by innovation consultant, John Emmerling, rings true for us here at Send Word Now. Combining new ways of looking at the world with a passion for purpose has helped us fuel some industry “firsts” over the years. And now, thanks to the valuable feedback and interactions with so many of our customers, the legacy of innovation endures with our continuous development of SWN Direct.

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Feb 14 2017

2017 Cyber Incident & Breach Response Guide Highlights the Role of Communication

By Lisa Eifert

Cyber threats are a fact of life for today’s organizations. Is your organization really prepared to respond to the ever-increasing, always-changing lineup of potential cyber incidents and security breaches? Let’s review the Online Trust Alliance (OTA)’s recently released 2017 Cyber Incident & Breach Readiness Guide. The guide highlights the pivotal role communication plays in protecting organizations from cyber incident-related fallout.

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Feb 07 2017

DDoS: A Rising Threat in 2017

By Lisa Eifert

One of 2016’s most memorable tech moments? The October cyberattack that crippled much of the American internet and earned the dubious distinction of being the largest of its kind in history. Think your business can breathe easy with that particular incident behind you? Think again. According to a recent report from Deloitte, we can expect more of the same—and potentially worse—in 2017. Here’s what you need to know.

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Jan 30 2017

Three Ways Notification Technology Can Improve Law Firm Communications

By Lisa Eifert

For 21st century law firms, failure to implement the right communication strategies can detrimentally impact everything from staff morale to the solvency of a practice. In extreme cases, poor communication can even endanger the lives of the most vital part of any law firm: its employees. 

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Jan 16 2017

Five Tech Trends to Watch in 2017

By Lisa Eifert

It’s an understatement to say that the year ahead holds a great deal of uncertainty. But while we may not know exactly what’s coming, we do know that one sector is guaranteed to keep moving forward at a lightning-fast pace: Technology. Wondering what, specifically, we can expect to see in the year ahead? Here’s a closer look at five tech trends anticipated to take off in 2017.

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Jan 03 2017

Fighting the Flu: Five Questions (and Answers) for Dealing with an Outbreak in the Workplace

By Send Word Now

  The flu is also taking its toll on businesses as they deal with high rates of employee absenteeism. For some, particularly smaller ones, the situation could develop into a full-blown business interruption. And, with the flu season expected to continue through March, the risk is real and growing for most every organization, regardless of its size or geographic location.

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Jan 02 2017

Are Unscheduled Absences Hurting Your Organization?

By Lisa Eifert

Peak flu season is upon us, and will last all the way into March. During this time, millions of people will become sick—many of whom won’t be reporting to work for the two to three days it takes severe symptoms to subside. Does your organization have a plan in place to manage these staff outages? Let’s take a closer look at the issue, along with highlighting a key strategy for supporting business continuity during flu outbreaks and other unscheduled absences.

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Dec 20 2016

Be Prepared: Practice Regular Communication with Your Notification Provider

By Emily Williams

  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.

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Dec 14 2016

Does Your Organization Have an Inclement Weather Plan?

By Lisa Eifert

Put yourself in your employee’s shoes for a moment. You wake up in the morning to snow that has been steadily falling for the past few hours. You check Facebook and see that your friends are complaining about icy roads and walkways. The Weather Channel says several more inches are anticipated throughout the day. You are supposed to report to work at eight, but have no idea whether or not the office is open. You have no messages on your phone, and your calls to the office go to voicemail. What do you do?

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Dec 09 2016

Becoming a Crisis Communications Champion

By Lorin Bristow

If you’re an American football fan, it’s an exciting time of the year. The college playoff field is shaping up, ultimately leading to the championship game in January. Professional football teams in the National Football League are beginning to eye the ultimate prize—a Super Bowl win. It’s the time of year where excellence is on clear display.

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Nov 28 2016

Another Groundbreaking Innovation from Send Word Now

By Lisa Eifert

Today we announced our award of U.S. patent no. 9,485,643. The patent protects the revolutionary technology inherent in SWN Direct, our groundbreaking new mobile app for alert recipients.

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Nov 21 2016

Cyber Monday is Certain to Bring Communication Challenges for IT Departments

By Lorin Bristow

It's hard to believe Cyber Monday is only a week away. For many traditional and ecommerce retailers, Cyber Monday is the most significant online shopping day of the year. And it won’t stop there. Online shopping over the next few weeks will provide a significant boost to many companies’ bottom lines. Monitoring and communicating information about IT outages and failures associated with online retail shopping can be a daunting task. At any time of the year, IT professionals are under intense pressure to safeguard the security of their organization’s data and physical facilities, and to ensure information continues flowing in the event of a disruption.

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Nov 10 2016

A Cyber Attack May be Headed Your Way: Are You Ready?

By Lisa Eifert

On October 21, 2016, the U.S. was the victim of a massive, malicious and blindsiding assault—without a foreign machine gun, grenade launcher or tank so much as touching American soil. How is that possible? Because we’re not talking not about a physical attack, but about a cyber attack. And here’s the worst part: While this recent event might have been the largest of its kind to date, it’s not going to be the last.

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Nov 03 2016

Does Your Business Have a Product Recall Communication Plan in Place?

By Lisa Eifert

Product recalls can go one of two ways. In the first, worst-case scenario, a product is determined to be dangerous or defective; its manufacturer ignores or reacts sluggishly to the issue; people are unnecessarily put at risk; and consumer trust is irreparably damaged. In the best-case alternative, meanwhile, the manufacturer assumes responsibility; takes quick action; and minimizes harm to both consumers and its reputation alike.  What one thing can ensure that your company ends up in the latter category, not the former? A product recall communication plan.

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Oct 27 2016

Hurricane Matthew: What Went Wrong?

By Lisa Eifert

When Hurricane Matthew swept through the Southeastern United States earlier this month, it left behind extensive debris, thousands without power, and many people living in shelters. In North Carolina, Florida, Georgia and South Carolina, meanwhile, a total of 17 people lost their lives.

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Oct 20 2016

Black Friday 2016: What's in Store?

By Lisa Eifert

With Thanksgiving just a little over a month away, many are thinking about their travel plans, their dinner menus and their shopping strategies for the biggest shopping day of the year, Black Friday (November 26). They are considering the purchase of big ticket items, whether a new TV, laptop or smartphone, and they are looking for the best possible deals in stores and online.

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Oct 13 2016

Do You Know What's Headed Your Way This Winter?

By Lisa Eifert

It’s time to put those flip-flops away once and for all. Because whether you like it or not, winter’s coming, and it looks like it might be a doozy. Let’s take a closer look—with a little help from the experts—at what weather to expect in the weeks and months ahead.

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Oct 03 2016

Manhunts Go Digital: Community Policing Toward Enhanced Public Safety

By Lisa Eifert

When authorities zeroed in on suspect Ahmad Khan Rahami in connection with recent bombings in Manhattan and New Jersey, they called on a formidable new force in the manhunt. We’re not talking about a branch of law enforcement or a covert Special Forces agency. We’re talking about millions of civilians with the unprecedented potential to aid in Rahami’s capture thanks to receiving real-time smart phone alerts aimed at harnessing their collective vigilance. Let’s take a closer look at this breakthrough technology, along with highlighting how community policing is transforming public safety.

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Sep 28 2016

Why FEMA is Taking a Stand on Flooding and Why You Should, Too

By Lisa Eifert

Just how much of a threat is flooding? FEMA has proposed setting limits to federally funded construction projects in order to shore up flood-prone communities from the hazards of flooding. Let’s take a closer look at the situation and FEMA’s response, along with other ways organizations and individuals can protect themselves in a flood situation.

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Sep 21 2016

Is Your Organization Ready for a Pandemic?

By Lisa Eifert

Did you know that the H5N1 avian influenza is currently thought to be the greatest pandemic threat?1  The Zika virus has also spread to 70 countries, with over 2,517 reported cases in the U.S. 2  And every year seasonal flu viruses threatens people and organizations throughout the world. 

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Sep 12 2016

Water Safety

By Lisa Eifert

Most Americans gave little thought to whether their drinking water was safe prior to this past spring. After all, it seemed only natural to rely on our country’s rigorous regulations to protect us from the dangers of unsafe drinking water. However, all of that changed with the Flint water crisis. But if you think that disaster was the exception not the rule, think again. Let’s take a closer look at the precarious state of the water infrastructure in this country, along with why communication is a critical part of safeguarding public health. 

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Sep 05 2016

The Role of Inbound Communications in Your Emergency Notification Strategy

By Lorin Bristow

When discussing emergency notification, most conversations typically focus (rightly) on outbound alerting capabilities (particularly telephone calls). While outbound alerting is clearly the most utilized functionality of a notification system, business continuity professionals should not overlook capabilities for inbound communications that can also be essential for informing people in a crisis. The ability for stakeholders to call into an automated system, navigate menus, and retrieve information could be an important addition to any notification strategy.

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Sep 01 2016

How You Can "Celebrate" National Preparedness Month 2016

By Lorin Bristow

  Originally created by the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), National Preparedness Month is observed each September. The awareness campaign encourages people to make preparations for emergency situations in their homes, businesses and communities.

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Aug 31 2016

Contact Data: More is Better for Emergency Communications

By Lorin Bristow

In the first moments of a crisis, timely communication can save lives, resources, and reputation. Unfortunately, it is often during these very moments that critical lines of communication are cut off, making contact more difficult than ever.

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Aug 17 2016

Three Top Tips for Increasing Organizational Cyber Security Awareness

By Lisa Eifert

Just how important is cyber security awareness in today’s digital age? An entire, month-long observation has been dedicated to shining the spotlight on this hot button issue. But raising awareness about cyber security can be easier said than done—especially when many people mistakenly assume the onus lies entirely with IT. As we approach October’s National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM), the following three tips can help you overcome the obstacles, increase awareness, and ultimately fortify both your cyber security strategies and your organization at large.

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Aug 11 2016

Staying Ahead of Storm Surge

By Lisa Eifert

While strong winds and heavy rain are two of the dangers that first come to mind when thoughts turn to the imminent hurricane season, a byproduct of the two can lead to an equally if not more destructive weather phenomenon: storm surge. Let’s take a closer look at this significant hazard to life and property, along with highlighting a new interactive tool from the National Hurricane Center (NHC) aimed at predicting storm surge and fostering critical preparedness.

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Aug 02 2016

Workplace Violence: Six Things Every Organization Should Consider

By Lisa Eifert

We’ve established that workplace violence is a very real issue facing society today. We’ve also covered the importance of forming a crisis management team while providing guidelines for establishing one within your organization. Next up in our “Workplace Violence” blog series? Highlighting a few critical steps involved in formulating an effective response to workplace violence incidences. Let’s count down six things all organizations should consider as part of their comprehensive emergency action plans.

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Aug 01 2016

Seven Deadly Sins of Emergency Notification Part Two

By Lisa Eifert

  Unfortunately, crisis happens. Recently, all too often.  Many companies are not fully prepared to communicate rapidly and effectively in a crisis. This second of a 2-part blog series covers the common mistakes all business continuity and disaster recovery professionals should avoid to avert disaster and foster resiliency. SINS 5-7

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Jul 26 2016

Seven Deadly Sins of Emergency Notification Part One

By Lisa Eifert

  Unfortunately, crisis happens. Recently, all too often. Many companies are not fully prepared to communicate rapidly and effectively in a crisis. This first of a 2-part blog series covers the common mistakes all business continuity and disaster recovery professionals should avoid to avert disaster and foster resiliency.

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Jul 21 2016

Seven Ways to Ensure Your Notifications Get The Attention They Deserve

By Emily Williams

As the business continuity expert within your company, you know that when there is a crippling IT concern, looming severe weather, or other major disruptive event, you need to contact your employees as quickly and efficiently as possible. You know to activate your mass notification system, just like you’ve practiced. And you know when alerts go out, every single employee always pays attention to the notifications and responds appropriately. Okay, maybe the last part isn’t exactly true. Because you also know that no matter how good you are at your job or how strong the capabilities of your notification service, there will always be challenges associated with alerting every single recipient. To help, here are seven "reasons" employees give for not getting your notifications, along with guidance to help ensure future alerts get the attention they deserve.

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Jul 11 2016

What All Organizations Need to Know about Active Shooter Events

By Lisa Eifert

Not only are active shootings equal opportunity threats to organizations and their constituents, but they’re also on the rise. The horrifying attack in Orlando earlier this month underscored the vital need for all organizations to amp up their own efforts to plan and prepare for active shooter scenarios in their own workplaces and communities. Let’s take a closer look at the active shooter phenomenon, along with what you can do to safeguard yourself, your employees and your organization. 

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Jul 05 2016

2016 BSI-BCI Horizon Scan Report Reveals Top Threats for Businesses

By Lisa Eifert

Created jointly by the Business Continuity Institute and BSI, the 2016 Horizon Scan Report highlights top business continuity threats identified by a sampling of resiliency professionals. Do your concerns match this year's list?

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Jun 22 2016

The Zika Virus in the U.S.: What Employers Need to Know Now

By Lisa Eifert

As of May 10, 2016, there were 472 confirmed cases of Zika, spread across 41 states and Washington D.C. By June 1, this number had increased to 618. Get the latest information on Zika as it pertains to your employees, whether or not your staff travel for work.

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Jun 17 2016

What’s the Forecast for Hurricane Season 2016?

By Lisa Eifert

While hurricanes are notoriously unpredictable, scientific advancements allow unprecedented insight into what to expect as a storm season approaches. The bad news? 2016 is anticipated to be a doozy, according to a just-released report from The Weather Company. Let’s take a closer look at what weather experts say lies ahead, along with tips for overcoming this less-than-sunny outlook.

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Jun 13 2016

Crisis Management Team Mobilization

By Lorin Bristow

  For business continuity, the Crisis Management Team (CMT) is charged with the responsibility of managing responses to disruptive events. The CMT includes senior management (with the authority to manage active crisis events) and is responsible for: Gathering facts and analyzing conditions regarding a crisis Making decisions during a crisis Allocating internal resources Obtaining needed external resources[1]

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Jun 09 2016

Workplace Violence: Making Communication Count During a Crisis

By Lisa Eifert

In the first segment of our four-part blog on workplace violence, we detailed the financial cost to Virginia Tech following the campus massacre which killed 32 people and wounded 17 others in 2007. What we didn’t mention? The determination by a state panel following the shooting that had an alert been issued earlier or classes canceled following the first two shootings, the death toll might have been contained. Not only that, but the messages the school did send failed to convey the full extent of the situation as it unfolded, according to the report.

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Jun 03 2016

Top Communication Best Practices to Implement Before a Crisis Strikes

By Lisa Eifert

For most organizations, emergency management and alerting is daunting and the logistics are challenging.  Planning for, and incorporating a few best practices can turn a potentially disastrous situation into an inconvenient one.  We’ve put together a list of those practices every organization should implement before a crisis occurs.

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Jun 03 2016

What is Resilience and How Does It Relate to Business Continuity Principles?

By Lisa Eifert

"Resilience" is the next evolutionary phase of business continuity. What is resilience and how does it differ from traditional perspectives on organizational response to disruptive events?

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Jun 01 2016

New Hope for Stopping Ransomware?

By Lisa Eifert

Imagine walking into your office and booting up your computer to finish up that important report you’ve been working on. Instead of seeing your usual desktop, however, you’re greeted with a message demanding ransom….or you’ll never see the contents of your computer again. This may sound like the plot of John Grisham book, but it’s a real-live scenario increasingly playing out across the country and around the world. Even worse? This type of malware -- dubbed “ransomware” -- may be coming soon to a computer near you.

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May 27 2016

Employee Vacations and your Emergency Notification Plan

By Lorin Bristow

The grass is green. The days are longer. The school year is over, or winding down. It’s the time of year many people begin thinking about summer vacations. Business continuity professionals are, of course, no exception. So, how can you, a person responsible for mission critical resiliency plans and emergency notification programs, really relax (at least a little) on your upcoming vacation? Here are a few helpful tips for dealing with your notification process now, before you pack your Speedos and sunscreen.

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May 23 2016

Multigenerational Communication

By Lisa Eifert

While dissecting the Millennial mindset is an oft-discussed topic, the fact is that each generation has its own unique set of attitudes and behaviors. If your organization reflects today’s multigenerational society, you're facing an unprecedented challenge: How do you communicate with your increasingly diverse constituency? Let’s take a closer look at each generation’s communications preferences, along with one key strategy for navigating this tricky terrain.

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May 20 2016

Most Wanted Features: Desktop Alerting

By Lacey Duncan

Our continuing Most Wanted Features series focuses on the impact and effectiveness of desktop alerts. This feature is a common request and a valued tool for many business resilience and IT professionals.  

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May 17 2016

Plan the Test, Test the Plan

By Lisa Eifert

  If your organization has an Emergency Notification Service (ENS) in place, it’s already taken an important step toward communicating faster and more effectively in critical situations. But, if the solution is not routinely “touched,” or better yet, tested, you could still be at risk in an actual emergency. Consider the following recommendations from Send Word Now to create a full and repeatable test cycle, ensuring your alerting readiness.

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May 06 2016

Understanding Cyber Security Threats

By Lisa Eifert

In 2014, the federal government was the victim of 61,000 cyber security breaches. If the government is so vulnerable, what are the cyber security risks for businesses, whether large or small? Revisit the cyber security threats facing modern businesses to learn how to best protect your business from threats. 

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May 04 2016

Workplace Violence: Why You Need a Crisis Management Team

By Lisa Eifert

  In the first part of our “Workplace Violence” blog series, we discussed this troubling and increasingly prevalent issue of workplace violence, along with highlighting the importance of being prepared for a very real yet unpredictable violent scenario taking place in your workplace. Which begs the question: How do you plan for something you can’t anticipate? The fact is that you can, and it all starts with the formation of a proactive crisis management team.

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Apr 29 2016

Workplace Violence: A Look at the Numbers

By Lisa Eifert

Earlier this year 38-year-old Cedric Larry Ford killed four and wounded 14 others in a chaotic workplace shooting spree in Kansas. Investigators at the time were unclear of the shooter’s motive—only that there were "some things that triggered this particular individual." While it’s easy to push aside news of these incidents with the justification, “It can’t/won't happen here,” the fact is that workplace violence can and does happen to unsuspecting organizations—and often for no immediately discernable reason.

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Apr 26 2016

Guns on Campus

By Lisa Eifert

In the aftermath of high-profile shootings on college campuses, college administrators are considering whether to allow guns on campus. Administrators are divided, with some seeing guns as a way to keep students and faculty safe and others worried that more guns would only increase levels of violence on campus. Explore current law regarding guns on campus in America to get a more informed understanding of how state laws affect university policies regarding firearms.

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Apr 11 2016

Send Word Now Customers Tell it Like it Is

By Lorin Bristow

How likely are you to recommend Send Word Now to a friend or colleague?   That’s the question we ask our customers once a quarter to measure their level of satisfaction with our mass notification solution. The satisfaction survey methodology we use, called Net Promoter Score, is centered on the idea that this one simple question is the best gauge of a customer’s overall satisfaction, and can be frequently monitored without barraging clients with lengthy satisfaction surveys. The question, “How likely are you to recommend Send Word Now to a friend or colleague?” is rated on a scale of 1 – 10 and customers are divided into three categories based on their responses:

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Apr 06 2016

Tornadoes, False Alarms and Public Complacency: What You Need to Know

By Lisa Eifert

We often lament the problem of limited lead times for tornado warnings, but what about watches and warnings which never come to be? While it’s easy to discount a false alarm as for the greater good, can multiple false alarms eventually trigger a “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” effect? Let’s take a closer look at the issue of tornado forecasting false alarms, along with whether they might be a greater threat to public safety than most people realize.

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Apr 04 2016

Tornado Forecasting: Is Longer Really Better?

By Lisa Eifert

Imagine you had just 13 minutes to prepare for the possibility of a tornado touching down where you live. When it comes to the complexities involved in tornado forecasting, the truth is that this timeline may be the best-case scenario in terms of lead time. However, even as scientists continue to push the boundaries of knowledge and technology in order to improve tornado forecasting, others worry that doing so risks losing sight of the main message. Let’s take a closer look at the current research, along with why more time may not translate to decisions that save lives.

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Mar 31 2016

El Niño and the Upcoming Tornado Season

By Lisa Eifert

El Niño recently made an entertaining impression on audience members watching the Grease: Live! telecast. But if only its impact was limited to forcing singers and dancers to temporarily take cover beneath umbrellas. Unfortunately, El Niño poses a much bigger threat than many people know—particularly in the case of the approaching tornado season. Let’s take a closer look at the issue, along with how organizations can prepare and protect themselves and their constituents from the potentially deadly combination of El Niño and tornado season.

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Mar 28 2016

Emergency Notification Can Reduce Employee Stress

By Amanda Cupp

You and Your Employees Have Enough to Worry About...  Having a robust business continuity plan in place can often be the difference between a streamlined work environment and employees pulling their hair out. Things can go wrong quickly in today's business world, and companies must be prepared to make adjustments in a moment's notice.

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Mar 25 2016

Why Accurate, Timely Messages Are Crucial During An Emergency

By Amanda Cupp

    Why Accurate, Timely Messages Are Crucial During An Emergency Emergency notification systems through email and phone have become an integral part of instant messaging. Colleges send out text messages warning students of serious incidents on campus, local authorities send out severe weather alerts, and police often send messages to those who have signed up to receive information during community emergencies. While the number of businesses and individuals using these types of notification systems are increasing, there are, unfortunately, cases in which messages have been inaccurate and caused confusion during a crisis situation. “Communication is Key” is starting to sound like a broken record. However, effective communication should be the key to communicating in a crisis situation.

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Mar 23 2016

10 Things Your Employees Wish You Knew About Communicating With Them

By Amanda Cupp

Businesses typically put a great deal of time and resources into customer communications, from elaborate public relations plans to customer surveys. But when it comes to internal communications—those formal and informal means by which employers communicate with staff—communication is often taken for granted. Employees have a critical impact on the outcome of every project, as well as the overall success of your business. Unfortunately, it’s easy for an organization’s leaders to fumble the ball when attempting to improve employee communications.

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Mar 16 2016

Seven Key Measures You Can Take to Secure Your Mass Notification System

By Lorin Bristow

  Cybersecurity is top of mind for IT and business resilience professionals all over the world. And, since mass notification systems rely on employee contact data, it’s crucial these systems are examined with scrutiny. While it’s unlikely an organization will have ultra-sensitive information (such as social security or credit card numbers) residing directly in a notification database, it’s nevertheless imperative personal data is well protected. Here are seven tips for ensuring your emergency notification service remains in your full control.

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Mar 03 2016

What The Bachelor Can Teach Us about Mass Notification Systems

By Lorin Bristow

As of this writing, only two ladies remain who are vying for the affections of Ben Higgins on The Bachelor television show. At least that’s what my wife and two teenage daughters tell me. Though not my cup of tea, I don’t personally need to be a fan to have some insight into Ben’s ultimate choice. I’d be willing to bet he’s looking to offer that final rose and his pledge of undying love to someone with both beauty and brains.    So how does an American “reality” TV show relate to emergency notification software?

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Feb 19 2016

Most Wanted Emergency Notification Feature #3: Geographic and Location Based Alerting

By Lacey Duncan

As our Most Wanted Features series continues, we’ll take a closer look at more of the features and functionality most desired by organizations, continuity professionals, and others with a vested interest in emergency notification.  While traditional alerting methods (i.e., email, SMS, voice calls) are essential and relevant, many organizations desire secure and resilient communication to target their “on-the-go” mobile workforce.  That makes location-based alerting the next feature on our most wanted list.

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Feb 02 2016

"Multimodal" Alerting Key to Successful Emergency Notification

By Lorin Bristow

Deploying a multimodal strategy is key to ensuring employees and other stakeholders receive and respond to urgent communications.

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Jan 25 2016

Winter Storm Jonas Drives Diverse Use of Emergency Notification Systems Across the U.S.

By Lorin Bristow

Another massive weather system has impacted business operations in large parts of the country. Winter Storm Jonas dumped feet of snow across the northeast, shutting down travel and stalling commerce for days. The storm is considered a “top 10” in the continental U.S., driven by this year’s strong El Nino.

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Jan 15 2016

Flu Season Is Peaking—Is Your Organization Prepared?

By Lorin Bristow

If you’ve noticed a few more empty offices or cubicles than usual around your workplace, there may be a good reason. This week, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) reported elevated flu activity in several regions of the country. Flu season in the U.S. is about to peak.

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Jan 11 2016

New Year, New Resolutions for Mass Notification

By Lorin Bristow

A new year brings new resolutions—commitments to achieve certain goals or make specific improvements.  While it’s certainly a good time for pledging to lose those few extra pounds, it’s also a great time to make resolutions for improving your business continuity communications. Maybe your mass notification program could use an improved diet and more exercise in 2016?

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Dec 17 2015

SMS Embargo in France after Terrorist Attack Highlights Need for New Alerting Solutions

By Tony Schmitz, President & CEO

The recent terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino serve as reminders that man-made disasters are a growing reality in today’s world. Business resiliency, security and information technology professionals know they have a responsibility to prepare their organizations for frightening and disruptive events such as these. Further, these preparations must include methods for communicating across the organization in a secure, rapid and accurate way. While typical mass notification methods such as SMS, telephony and email are viable channels in many cases, they each have their limitations. Take, for example, SMS service in Paris after the terrorist attack. The volume of SMS spam traffic into France compelled the government to block the delivery of certain types of international text messages (particularly two-way messages). This move negatively impacted the ability of certain businesses to communicate with employees and other stakeholders in the region via this widely-used channel.

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Nov 25 2015

Terrorism & Man-made Threats

By Lorin Bristow

  Recent terrorist attacks in Paris and Mali, Africa serve as reminders that man-made disasters are real. Though infrequent in number, their impacts can be significant, leaving lasting marks on people’s lives and the businesses in which they work and interact. Employers have a responsibility to prepare for all sorts of contingencies, including large scale violence. While the topic is sensitive in nature, business continuity, security and public safety professionals should proactively pursue strategies for preparing for, responding to and recovering from terrorist strikes or other violent workplace event. Consider the following points related to terrorism and workplace violence preparedness.

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Nov 12 2015

Godzilla Versus The Blob: How This Dynamic Duo will Impact Winter Weather in 2016

By Amanda Cupp

  You probably have an image in mind when you think about Godzilla versus The Blob. Better yet, you’re probably wondering what these iconic monsters have in common with winter weather. Well, we’re not talking about your typical 1950’s monster classics. Two major climate anomalies are taking place at the same time this year: “Godzilla” and “The Blob”. Those are the names given to two Pacific Ocean surface temperature patterns that are expected to converge later this year and into 2016 (there's also a "Son of Blob, but we'll save that for the sequel). The showdown between the two is expected to result in a more prolonged El Niño season causing even more unpredictable, potentially severe weather for the United States.

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Nov 02 2015

'Tis the Season for Better Retail Industry Communications

By Lorin Bristow

Leaves are changing colors. The air is crisp. Days are getting shorter. As another calendar page turns, we edge closer to that magical time --the holidays--the busiest season of the year for retail businesses.

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Oct 23 2015

Top Emergency Notification Scenarios: Crisis Management Team Mobilization

By Lorin Bristow

If you talk with experienced business continuity professionals about their most common notification scenarios, several recurring themes emerge. This blog series will focus on the most frequently deployed scenarios for emergency notification technology. In this post, we'll discuss Crisis Management Team (CMT) mobilization.  

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Oct 01 2015

The Case for "Multimodal" Emergency Notification

By Lorin Bristow

Just days ago, Facebook, the social networking site adored by more than 1.4 billion people around the planet, experienced two outages within a seven-day period. The downtime was the subject of countless news stories, talk show segments and online posts around the world. While one would hardly classify this situation as an emergency (depending on whom you ask, I suppose), it does bring to mind the fact that any single communication channel, even one as popular as Facebook, is subject to disruptions. It’s a key reason why a multimodal strategy for critical communications is so important.

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Sep 17 2015

Most Wanted Emergency Notification Feature 2: Self-Registration Portal

By Lacey Duncan

One of the biggest challenges in using an emergency notification service is keeping up with your contacts—especially if your organization is large or has high-volume turnover. How can you make sure your recipients aren’t missing vital communications without consuming significant time and resources?

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Sep 08 2015

Most Wanted Emergency Notification Feature Number 1: Two-way Communications

By Lacey Duncan

Sending a notification is extremely important, but getting a response back from the recipient can be just as vital. When a crisis occurs, you often need more than just confirmation that the alert was delivered. You need information. Two-way communication transforms your notification service into a crisis management tool. By using a notification service’s two-way feature, like Send Word Now’s Get Word Back, message recipients can easily acknowledge receipt of an alert, confirm their ability to respond to a particular situation, and if necessary, account for their personal well-being.

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Sep 01 2015

Bringing National Preparedness Month to Your Organization

By Lorin Bristow

Since its beginning in 2004, National Preparedness Month is observed each September in the United States. Originally created by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the campaign encourages people to make plans and preparations for emergencies in their homes, businesses and communities.

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Aug 27 2015

Back to School: Making Campus a Safer Place to Live and Work

By Lacey Duncan

It’s that time of year again. College campuses are being flooded with students and faculty returning to begin another semester. For higher education institutions around the country safety is among their administrators’ highest priorities. Yet, when you have thousands of people working and living together the logistics of communication often proves difficult—classes are in session at different times, often spread across acres; students live in dorms and apartments both on and off campus; faculty and staff often commute long distances—how do you manage communication?

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Aug 24 2015

The Future is Now: Send Word Now Acquires One Call Now

By Lorin Bristow

Milestones. Markers in time where the past as we knew it changed, and a new future was forged. Today, Send Word Now marks an exciting milestone in its announced acquisition of group messaging company, One Call Now.

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Aug 14 2015

How Iconic Global Companies are Using Mass Notification for IT Alerting

By Lorin Bristow

Everywhere you turn, new threats to Information Technology (IT) security are emerging. Companies around the globe are spending more time and money on monitoring and protecting  critical systems. Add to this the already daunting task of simply maintaining various systems, and it’s easy to see why the IT professional’s job is challenging. The best security and monitoring systems in the world may not be sufficient to protect your organization if communication is insufficient or fails. It’s the reason why many leading companies are adding mass notification to their arsenal of IT management applications. Consider the following IT Alerting examples from companies with which we are all familiar.

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Jul 28 2015

Don’t Forget Your Suppliers When Sending Emergency Notifications During a Business Disruption

By Lorin Bristow

If you utilize an emergency notification service for business continuity, you’ve likely spent a great deal of time carefully considering your methods for communicating with internal employees and response teams during a critical event. However, have you paid careful attention to your process for communicating with external stakeholders—suppliers in particular?

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Jul 15 2015

Do You Need More Exercise?

By Lorin Bristow

Exercising is a great practice for improving your physical health. It’s also a great practice for improving the health of your critical communications program. Many organizations conduct business resilience drills. However, some bypass using their notification systems to their fullest extent during these “practice” events. Here’s what you should do instead.

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Jul 09 2015

The Shark Week Effect and Business Continuity

By Lacey Duncan

It’s Shark Week. The one week each year where millions of people tune in to learn about one of the planet’s most feared predators. It’s the one week we mix fear with reverence for the magnificence of this creature. In a timely coincidence, major news outlets have also reported on a surge in shark activity and attacks along U.S. coastlines. So what does all of this shark mania have to do with business resilience?

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Jul 08 2015

Teleworking as a Business Continuity Strategy (and How Mass Notification Can Help)

By Lorin Bristow

Enabling employees to work from home (“teleworking”) during a critical event is a business resilience practice being adopted or contemplated by many companies. Today’s mobile technologies make teleworking feasible. And, the idea that workers who can’t be present due to weather or other circumstances can continue being productive from home is appealing.  However, making this a practical strategy requires solid planning, clear policies, and excellent communication.

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Jun 29 2015

Mass Notification Data Management: From Importing to APIs

By Lorin Bristow

​Today’s mass notification services offer a number of powerful features for rapidly alerting a large number of people. However, all those bells and whistles aren’t very useful if your contact information isn’t complete or up-to-date. Even companies with accurate contact records in-house often have data residing in a Human Resources database that is separate from the notification service. Questions often arise about how to make this information accessible.

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Jun 19 2015

Transforming a Ho-Hum Mass Notification Service into a Powerhouse Collaboration Tool

By Lorin Bristow

​In times past, mass notification technology was used primarily as a one-way means of alerting people in urgent situations. Its origins were rooted in replacing manual phone trees (you call five people, they each call five people, etc.). Today’s mass notification systems are no doubt still highly effective for warning people during emergencies and critical events. However, they are no longer relegated exclusively to getting people’s attention. With advancements in capabilities, they are fast becoming tools for both alerting and collaborating--for both warning people that a problem exists, and aiding in the problem’s resolution.

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Jun 10 2015

Mass Notification for IT Alerting

By Lorin Bristow

Data breaches. Denial-of-Service attacks. Phishing schemes. Trojan horses. Malware. For Information Technology (IT) professionals all over the world, these are the ingredients of nightmares. Add to these the daily challenges of simply maintaining and troubleshooting a wide variety of technologies, and it’s easy to see the IT professional’s job is not easy.

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Jun 04 2015

Seven Secrets to Getting Employee Buy-in (and Personal Contact Information) for an Emergency Notification Program

By Lacey Duncan

As a business continuity and resiliency professional, you understand the importance of having a solid, multimodal communication system in place. However, some employees in your organization may be reluctant to fully commit, particularly when it comes to voluntarily submitting personal contact information.

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May 28 2015

Business Continuity and Mass Notification During Severe Weather

By Lorin Bristow

​Only days ago, areas of Texas and Oklahoma in the southwestern U.S. were hit by massive floods and violent tornadoes. Severe storms claimed the lives of at least 21 people, and an untold number of businesses were impacted. Some of these businesses will never reopen.

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May 19 2015

Business Continuity and Civil Unrest

By Lorin Bristow

Over the past year, a multitude of civil unrest events have occurred that, among other detrimental effects, have negatively impacted routine business operations. From the recent  biker gang conflict in Waco, TX, to riots in Baltimore, MD, to the much publicized conflict in Ferguson, MO, large-scale public disturbances have tested the limits of business resilience and public safety operations. Further, these events are not constrained to U.S. borders, as civil unrest has recently arisen in countries ranging from Spain to Belgium to Brazil.

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May 05 2015

The Vacation Planning Guide to Emergency Notification

By Lorin Bristow

The grass is green. The days are longer. The school year is over, or winding down. It’s the time of year many people begin thinking about summer vacations. Business continuity professionals are, of course, no exception. So, how can you, a person responsible for mission critical resiliency plans and emergency notification programs, really relax (at least a little) on your upcoming vacation? Here are a few helpful tips for dealing with your notification process now, before you pack your Speedos and sunscreen.

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Apr 21 2015

Practical Steps for Securing Your Mass Notification System

By Lorin Bristow

Considering the number of notable data breaches over the past year, it’s no wonder cybersecurity is a top focus area for IT and business resilience professionals around the globe. And when it comes to an enterprise level mass notification service, a high level of attention and scrutiny is most certainly justified.

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Apr 17 2015

Look, No Hands! Automating Content-Triggered Alerts for Everyday Operations

By Lorin Bristow

  ​In many situations where mass notification is required, there’s no substitute for logging in to an online service and launching alerts manually. However, there are alternative situations where it would be advantageous to launch widespread alerts automatically, without any user involvement. This is where “content-triggered” alerting comes into play, and it’s a powerful, sometimes overlooked, capability of sophisticated notification services like Send Word Now.

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Apr 08 2015

Using Notification Technology for Supply Chain Disruptions

By Lorin Bristow

​ In today’s globally connected business environment, companies of all types and sizes are sourcing raw materials, components and wholesale products from a highly diverse set of international providers. At the same time, companies strive to hold a minimal amount of inventory, preferring instead that materials arrive from a supplier “just in time.”

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Feb 23 2015

Issuing an RFP for a Notification System: Asking the Right Questions

By Lacey Duncan

The main purpose in issuing a Request for Proposal (RFP) is to evaluate systems and capabilities by comparing and assessing vendors. Now that your organization has decided to take on this task, where do you start?  In this post, the second in our latest blog series, we’ll provide some guidance on issuing an RFP.

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Feb 20 2015

Winter Weather Woes

By Emily Williams

Iola, Juno, Octavia. There’s no doubt about it. Mother Nature has been very busy lately, wreaking havoc all across the country. And, with Winter Storm Pandora now trekking toward the South, Midwest and Northeast, she’s nowhere near being finished with us yet.

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Feb 18 2015

The Big Picture of Business Resiliency

By Linda Young

​If your organization is like most, its approach to business continuity and disaster recovery (BC/DR) has changed a lot over the years. Especially during the last ten or so. While this evolution has most likely been fueled by the adoption of new policies and procedures, standards, or even technologies, there are (and continue to be) several other driving factors. Enterprise scale, or “big picture” resiliency is almost certainly one of them. Granted, business resiliency is not a new concept. It’s deeply rooted in IT and facilities management, which have always been key elements of your BC/DR plan. But, it has morphed into something even larger. Something that involves every facet of your business, from customer service to legal to HR, along with every change, bad or good, in normal business activities. In other words, something end-to-end. Technology and consulting services giant, IBM, describes business resiliency as “the ability of an organization’s business operations to rapidly adapt and respond to internal or external dynamic changes – opportunities, demands, disruptions or threats – and continue operations with limited impact to business.” As such, and according to an article published by Continuity Central, business resiliency can be thought of as spanning six discrete layers: strategy, organization, processes, data/applications, technology and facilities/security. Regardless of your role, you have the opportunity (and the responsibility) to contribute to your organization’s expanding resiliency in some form or fashion. So, how do you take a more holistic approach to business resiliency if you’ve not done so already? Consider the three main objectives for dealing with anticipated and unexpected events, as identified by the Business Resilience Certification Consortium International (BRCCI): • Protect critical operations, services and resources to maintain business continuity • Develop resilient business strategies that exploit opportunities to gain competitive advantage • Overcome enterprise-wide risks and vulnerabilities to protect shareholder values Take into account BRCCI’s following five high-level requirements for a successful business resiliency program, and determine how your organization, department or particular location stacks up. (Be honest with yourself and your staff, and document the shortcomings so improvements can be made.) Comprehensive – The program must be based on a scope that covers an organization’s end-to-end business and operational aspects. The scope includes business resilience strategies, business processes, people, IT assets and resources, non-IT assets and resources, products and services, supply chains, laws and regulations, etc.  Methodical – Ensures the program is built on a structured, systematic and analytical approach for achieving resiliency objectives.  Adaptable – Characterizes the ability of the program to adapt quickly to changing threats, circumstances and business demands (e.g., just-in-time delivery of goods or services).  Proactive – Anticipates future business changes, impacts and discontinuities, and takes preemptive actions to protect resilience goals. (Plus, capitalizes opportunities to increase shareholder values.) Reactive – Defends and protects the organization from unexpected situations that can lead to disastrous consequences (e.g., natural disasters, pandemic threats, data breaches, supply chain disruptions, etc.) And remember, communication and collaboration are crucial if you’re going to extend the traditional boundaries of resiliency to other areas of your business, i.e., outside the BC/DR silo. A concerted effort is required for success. Take advantage of every opportunity to share your perspective and contribute to the “big picture.” The unique skills, expertise and experience you bring to the table as a certified BC/DR planner, C-level executive, IT professional, facilities manager or client services director, are invaluable. Not just for helping the organization to meet its business objectives, but also for supporting its move toward enterprise-scale resiliency.

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Feb 10 2015

Seven Ways to Ensure Your Notifications Get The Attention They Deserve

By Emily Williams

As the business continuity expert within your company, you know that when there is a crippling IT concern, looming severe weather, or other major disruptive event, you need to contact your employees as quickly and efficiently as possible. You know to activate your mass notification system, just like you’ve practiced. And you know when alerts go out, every single employee always pays attention to the notifications and responds appropriately. Okay, maybe the last part isn’t exactly true. Because you also know that no matter how good you are at your job or how strong the capabilities of your notification service, there will always be challenges associated with alerting every single recipient. To help, here are seven "reasons" employees give for not getting your notifications, along with guidance to help ensure future alerts get the attention they deserve.

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Jan 28 2015

A Paul Revere Kind of Emergency Communications

By Emily Williams

As Paul Revere awaited the approaching troops in the Boston area during the American Revolution, he knew that once the action of an invasion began, there would be little time to alert the colonists. That’s why he made a crisis communication plan to quickly warn them about the means of invasion with a candle in a church steeple. You know the story. If they came by land, there would be one candle. If by water (across the Charles River), there would be two. Thus the old adage, “One if by land. Two if by sea.” For the late 1700s, Revere’s idea worked pretty well in a crunch. Likewise, organizations must be prepared in advance for a crisis – whether it is an act of nature, a man-made event, a data breach, or any other occurrence that threatens the continuity of your business.

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Jan 22 2015

Best Practices: Active Shooter Preparedness

By Linda Young

This month’s mass shooting inside the Paris offices of the popular French satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo, is a harsh reminder that the workplace is not always a safe place. Even in the corporate environment, where it’s almost always business as usual. Certainly no one expects the absolute worst-case scenario – an active shooter event – to unfold.

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Jan 21 2015

Selecting a Notification System: Is Issuing an RFP the Right Choice for Your Organization?

By Lacey Duncan

Your organization wants to improve its critical communication capabilities. And, you’ve been tasked with compiling information to evaluate systems, compare capabilities and assess vendors. Now what? Being involved in, or potentially making, a purchasing decision that affects your entire organization can be a daunting task, especially when it pertains to a technology you may not be familiar with or completely understand. Will issuing a Request for Proposal (RFP) really make the process any easier? Honestly, it depends. In this post, the first in our latest blog series, The Ins and Outs of RFPs for Emergency Notification, we’ll provide some guidance on answering this important question (and perhaps even a few others) to get you and your organization started down the right path. Before taking on the challenge of writing an RFP, think about what you already know versus what you need to know. Because RFPs are a lot of work for everyone involved, sometimes doing some simple research or making a few phone calls is the best way to fill in the gaps and make a decision. However, if you find your “need to know” list is long or even overwhelming, issuing an RFP might be your best option. While RFPs are great tools for gathering information and comparing vendors, they do require a lot of time and resources to be successful, so here are a few more things to consider before going to RFP: Who are the industry leaders? Knowing the key players will help narrow your selection immediately. By sending the RFP to only these vendors, your procurement team won’t need to weed out proposals in order to get to the top-tier responses. What is your timeline? A tight timeline, i.e., two weeks or less, can make getting quality responses challenging. And, you may forget to ask some important questions. A good RFP takes time to prepare, and to answer. The more details, needs or requirements you include on the front end makes it easier for vendors to supply the right responses on the back end. And, the more time you give them to answer (30 days is reasonable) is always appreciated, as your organization’s RFP is most likely not the only one on the vendor’s plate. Who is ultimately making the purchasing decision? Is it you? Your CFO? A consultant? Vendors may not know who the decision maker is, but they want to write their responses in a way that fully answers and just as important, appeals to the appropriate audience. Knowing the right questions to ask in your RFP will help you get the best responses from everyone for everyone. Your decision maker will have the information needed to make a decision, usually without asking additional questions, and you haven’t wasted time preparing and issuing an RFP. Once you’ve made the decision to use an RFP to purchase an emergency notification system, what questions should you ask? We’ve created a sample RFP to help you get started. Watch for other posts as we further explore the RFP process for emergency notification solutions.

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Jan 01 2015

Interview With a Thought Leader: Allianz Global Investors

By Linda Young

  What better time than the new year for your organization to review and potentially improve its critical communications strategy? Or, for Send Word Now® to announce the return of its popular Interview with a Thought Leader webinar series?

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Dec 22 2014

Things You Didn't Know Your Emergency Notification System Could Do: Internet Protocol (IP) Mobile Recipient Alerts

By Emily Williams

  In our latest blog series, we are highlighting a variety of things you perhaps didn’t realize your emergency notification system could do to support your organization’s readiness, response and resilience. Thus far, we’ve covered Alert Escalations, Self-Registration, Inbound Message Board, Integration, and Desktop Alerting. This post’s topic: the greater flexibility and lower costs of Internet Protocol (IP) mobile alerts.

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Dec 17 2014

Top Trends in Using Notification Services for Routine Communications

By Lorin Bristow

  No doubt, notification services are indispensable for communicating in critical situations. The ability to quickly create and send urgent messages to thousands of people across the globe through virtually any device is powerful stuff. Add to this the capability of receiving consolidated recipient feedback and real-time status reports, and you have an unparalleled tool for crisis response and incident management.

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Dec 14 2014

Things You Didn't Know Your Emergency Notification System Could Do: Desktop Alerting

By Emily Williams

  In our latest blog series, we are highlighting a variety of things you perhaps didn’t realize your emergency notification system could do to support your organization’s readiness, response and resilience. Thus far, we’ve covered Alert Escalations, Self-Registration, Inbound Message Board, and Integration. This post’s topic: Desktop Alerting.

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Dec 09 2014

National Influenza Vaccination Week

By Linda Young

  This week, December 7-13, is National Influenza Vaccination Week. So, if you’ve not rolled up your sleeve and received your shot yet, now’s the time. That is, if you’re going to fend off certain strains of the virus.

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Dec 04 2014

Things You Didn't Know Your Emergency Notification System Could Do: Systems Integration

By Emily Williams

  In our latest blog series, we are highlighting a variety of things you perhaps didn’t realize your emergency notification system could do to support your organization’s readiness, response and resilience. We have covered Alert Escalations, Self-Registration, and Inbound Message Board. This post’s topic: Systems Integration.

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Dec 04 2014

Ruby is No Jewel: All Eyes Look to the Philippines

By Linda Young

  Come tomorrow, the strongest typhoon to hit The Philippines this year, Typhoon Hagupit (aka Ruby), will make landfall. And with wind gusts currently reported as high as 143 mph, residents of areas ravaged by Typhoon Haiyan just a year ago, are bracing for the worst. Rightly so.

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Nov 23 2014

Things You Didn't Know Your Emergency Notification System Could Do: Inbound Message Boards

By Emily Williams

  In our latest blog series, we are highlighting a variety of things you perhaps didn’t realize your emergency notification system could do to support your organization’s readiness, response and resilience. So far, we’ve covered Alert Escalations and Self-Registration. This post’s topic: Inbound Message Board.

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Nov 16 2014

Is Family Preparedness Missing From Your Resiliency Plan

By Lorin Bristow

  A huge point-of-failure may be lurking in your business continuity/disaster recovery (BC/DR) plan. The flaw may not be obvious at first glance. Even worse, extensive testing and exercising may fail to reveal the weakness. You see, the whole response and recovery process relies on people for its proper execution. And, in a real critical incident affecting life and safety, even the sincerest of employees may not follow your well-crafted business continuity plan if they are worried about or distracted by the well-being of their own families and loved ones.

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Nov 09 2014

Things You Didn't Know Your Emergency Notification System Could Do: Self-Registration

By Emily Williams

  In our latest blog series, we are highlighting a variety of things you perhaps didn’t realize your emergency notification system could do to support your organization’s readiness, response and resilience. Last time we covered Alert Escalations. This post’s topic: Self-registration.

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Nov 05 2014

Are You Ready for Black Friday 2014

By Linda Young

  With Thanksgiving just 21 days away, countless people (myself included) are finalizing their travel plans, their dinner menus and their shopping strategies for the biggest shopping day of the year, Black Friday 2014. They are considering the purchase of big ticket items, whether a new TV, laptop or smartphone, and they are looking for the best possible deals in stores and online.

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Oct 30 2014

Things You Didn't Know Your Emergency Notification System Could Do: Message Escalation

By Emily Williams

  In our newest blog series, we’ll be highlighting a variety of things that you perhaps didn’t realize your emergency notification system could do to support your organization’s readiness, response and resilience. Our first topic: Message Escalation.

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Oct 21 2014

Send Word Now Remembers: Hurricane Sandy

By Emily Williams

  On October 29, 2012, an unprecedented superstorm made landfall on the eastern coast of the United States. Hurricane Sandy (nicknamed “Superstorm Sandy”) ravaged the Caribbean, Bermuda, and the eastern U.S. coast with significant damage particularly in New York and New Jersey. The high winds and heavy rains left homes, businesses, and transportation infrastructures in ruins.

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Oct 20 2014

Send Word Now Remembers: D.C. Beltway Snipers

By Emily Williams

  Twelve years ago in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington D.C., residents were living in fear of encountering the unthinkable: two murderers, now known as the DC Beltway Snipers, drove around the city randomly killing victims in broad daylight with little evidence left behind.

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Oct 19 2014

Enterovirus D68: It's Not Just for Children

By Linda Young

  Every year, typically summer through fall, millions of children across the U.S. catch enteroviruses that can cause coughing, sneezing, fever and other flu-like symptoms. And, every year, millions of working mothers, fathers and other caregivers must take time off to tend to those who become ill. It goes with the territory.

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Oct 15 2014

The Great Shakeout 2014: Earthquake Preparedness Drills

By Emily Williams

  While millions around the globe can be caught singing along to Taylor Swift’s latest chart-topper, “Shake it Off”, this morning millions of people are shaking things out in a new way.

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Oct 09 2014

Four Things Your Organization Needs to do to Prepared for a Widespread Ebola Outbreak in the U.S.

By Emily Williams

  According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the recent outbreak of the Ebola Virus – the world’s largest Ebola outbreak – has claimed more than 3,800 lives with confirmed cases in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and the United States.

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Oct 07 2014

Inside Perspective: Send Word Now 2014 Global Alert Conference

By Emily Williams

  This week in New York City, around 100 top business continuity and disaster recovery professionals are gathered at the Time Warner Center for Send Word Now’s 7th annual Global Alert Conference.

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Sep 29 2014

Ready! Blog Mini-Series: Program Improvement

By Linda Young

  September 30th may mark the end of National Preparedness Month, but it by no means signals the end to your organization’s readiness and response efforts.

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Sep 28 2014

Ready! Blog Mini-Series: Testing & Exercising Resiliency Plans

By Linda Young

  September, though quickly coming to an end, is National Preparedness Month, an initiative sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

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Sep 24 2014

Coordinating with External Agencies

By Lorin Bristow

  DRI International (DRII) has developed an overview of professional practices designed to “assist the entity in the development and implementation of a BCM program.” In addition to being sound resiliency methods, these practices serve as a foundation for various DRII business continuity professional certifications.

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Sep 24 2014

Ready! Blog Mini-Series: Implementation

By Linda Young

  With this being the last full week of September, National Preparedness Month (sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security) will soon draw to a close. So too will Send Word Now’s blog mini-series, designed to focus on FEMA’s “Ready” public education outreach campaign as it relates to business resilience.

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Sep 18 2014

Ready! Blog Mini-Series: Planning

By Linda Young

  September is National Preparedness Month, an initiative sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

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Sep 15 2014

Send Word Now Remembers: The Washington Navy Yard Shootings

By Emily Williams

  One year ago today, on September 16, 2013, gunman Aaron Alexis entered Washington Navy Yard’s Building 197 and opened fire. Over the course of an hour, Alexis roamed the halls of NAVSEA Building 197, randomly shooting anyone in his path. Before he was killed by an officer, Alexis had fatally shot twelve people and wounded three others.

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Sep 11 2014

Ready! Blog Mini-Series: Program Management

By Linda Young

  Last week, we acknowledged September as National Preparedness Month, which is sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. We also announced Send Word Now’s latest blog mini-series, designed to focus on FEMA’s “Ready” public education outreach campaign as it relates to business resilience.

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Sep 10 2014

Remembering September 11, 2001

By Emily Williams

  I can’t remember a single detail about September 10, 2001. I don’t know where I was, who I was with, or the events of my day.

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Sep 09 2014

TechNet Augusta 2014: Vendor Viewpoint

By Linda Young

  Given September is National Preparedness Month (supported by the Federal Emergency Management Agency within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security); the U.S. has expanded its military operations in the Middle East; and, that this is the anniversary week of the 9/11 tragedies, TechNet Augusta 2014 couldn’t take place at a better time.

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Sep 08 2014

DRJ Fall World 2014: Insider Perspective

By Linda Young

  This week, September 7-10, 2014, hundreds of business resilience professionals have converged upon San Diego’s Bayfront Hilton to take part in Disaster Recovery Journal’s 51st annual conference, DRJ Fall World 2014.

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Sep 04 2014

September is National Preparedness Month

By Linda Young

  Sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, September is National Preparedness Month.

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Aug 27 2014

Remembering Devastating Hurricane Katrina

By Linda Young

  Whether you were directly or indirectly affected by Hurricane Katrina, you most likely remember the week of August 23 – August 31, 2005.

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Aug 25 2014

Crisis Communication as a Professional Practice

By Lorin Bristow

  DRI International (DRII) has developed an overview of professional practices designed to “assist the entity in the development and implementation of a BCM program.” In addition to being sound resiliency methods, these practices serve as a foundation for various DRII business continuity professional certifications.

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Aug 24 2014

The Napa Earthquake

By Emily Williams

  In the early hours of August 24, 2014, an otherwise relatively quiet Sunday morning erupted into chaos for the residents of Napa, California. It was precisely here that the largest earthquake to strike the region in over 25 years occurred, shaking people from their beds and wreaking havoc on the area.

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Aug 13 2014

Send Word Now Remembers: Largest Blackout in U.S. History

By Emily Williams

Eleven years ago on August 14, 2003, you may have been sitting in the dark. On this day, America’s largest blackout struck eight states in the Northeastern and Midwestern United States, and parts of Canada, leaving over 55 million people without electricity.

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Aug 06 2014

SaaS Notification: Lower Total Cost of Ownership

By promo_site_admin_hs9iwnc8

  In the 90s, my family got a new trial offer of software in the mail every single week. It seemed like every hasty internet provider had our mailing address, so our mailbox was always full of those trial CDs.

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Jul 30 2014

Blog Mini Series: One-click Connect for Emergency Communications

By Emily Williams

  When your company is in crisis, you are well aware that unfortunately, life didn’t come with an easy button. However, with Send Word Now’s revolutionary recipient mobile application, SWN Direct, our One-Click Connect feature is the next best thing to an easy button, giving you a one-touch connection to the information you need.

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Jul 23 2014

Blog Mini Series: Secure Transfer and Version Control of Critical Files

By Emily Williams

  A picture is worth a thousand words. And when it comes time to activate your emergency notification system, sometimes a picture, an emergency response map, or an important document containing sensitive information (such as a health record or a business continuity plan) is priceless.

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Jul 22 2014

Middle Eastern Respitory Syndrome (MERS) May be Airborne According to Scientists

By Emily Williams

  Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), a deadly respiratory virus with symptoms of fever, cough, and shortness of breath, has made its way to the United States in recent months. Since Send Word Now first warned of the MERS discovery in last summer’s blog post, MERS has caused over 800 people worldwide to fall ill with around 30% of those victims suffering a MERS-related death.

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Jul 16 2014

Business Continuity Plan Exercise, Audit & Maintenance

By Lorin Bristow

  DRI International (DRII) has developed an overview of professional practices designed to “assist the entity in the development and implementation of a BCM program.” In addition to being sound resiliency methods, these practices serve as a foundation for various DRII business continuity professional certifications.

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Jul 09 2014

Blog Mini Series: Overcoming Voice Limitations

By Emily Williams

  When we were children in elementary school, we all enjoyed playing the game “telephone.” One person would whisper a message into the ear of a classmate, who whispered that same message to the next classmate in line, and so on. It was always funny to hear the last person say the message out loud because it was hilariously different by the time it made it through the entire class.

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Jul 02 2014

Blog Mini Series: Overcoming the Limitations of Using SMS for Emergency Notification

By Linda Young

  While SMS or “texting” is a popular way to communicate (especially for the 18 to 24-year-old-crowd who, on average, sends and receives 4,000 text messages per month!), it may not the best way to share important, oftentimes critical information. This is especially true in the business environment, when operations or worse, employee safety, may be at risk.

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Jun 23 2014

Introducing SWN Direct: A Revolutionary New Mobile App for Recipients

By Lorin Bristow

  “Innovation is creativity with a job to do.” That quote by innovation consultant, John Emmerling, rings true for us here at Send Word Now. Combining new ways of looking at the world with a passion for purpose has helped us fuel a number of industry “firsts” over the years. And now, thanks to the valuable feedback and interactions with so many of our customers, the legacy of innovation continues with our exciting new release of SWN Direct.

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Jun 11 2014

Aware and Trained: Ensuring Readiness When Faced With a Business Interruption

By Lorin Bristow

  DRI International (DRII) has developed an overview of professional practices designed to “assist the entity in the development and implementation of a BCM program.” In addition to being sound resiliency methods, these practices serve as a foundation for various DRII business continuity professional certifications.

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Jun 04 2014

Eyes on the Skies: 'Tis the Season for Hurricane Preparedness

By Linda Young

  With June 1 signaling the official start of the 2014 Atlantic Hurricane Season, all eyes are on the North Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico for the development of tropical storms. Fortunately, conditions for a cyclone are currently unfavorable and there’s no sign of imminent risk. But, that may not be the case for long.

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May 28 2014

Send Word Now announces 2014 Global Alert Conference

By Emily Williams

  As a member of the Send Word Now community, we ask you to join us for our 2014 Annual Global Alert Conference on October 7-8, 2014 at the Time Warner Center in New York, NY. This seventh annual event is exclusively available to Send Word Now clients!

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May 21 2014

Key Benefits of Involvement in a Business Resiliency Community

By Emily Williams

  In 2014, there will be an estimated 1.97 billion users of social media worldwide who access social media at least once a month according to a recent study from eMarketer. This is a testament to our desire for connection. We crave community. We use tools like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter to look for others with similar styles, desires, interests and backgrounds, and we use those connections to create social subgroups. A place to connect on a more meaningful level.

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May 14 2014

Business Continuity Planning and Implementatoin

By Lorin Bristow

  DRI International (DRII) has developed an overview of professional practices designed to “assist the entity in the development and implementation of a BCM program.” In addition to being sound resiliency methods, these practices serve as a foundation for various DRII business continuity professional certifications.

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May 07 2014

Action and Reaction: They Go Hand in Hand

By Linda Young

  Someone once said, “It’s not what happens to you, but how you react it to it that matters.” This premise not only holds true in our personal lives, but in business as well. No one knows this better than today’s business continuity professionals, who must devise their organizations’ response to critical events.

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May 01 2014

Curious Minds: Asking the Right Notification Vendor Questions

By Linda Young

  Having been involved in the critical communications industry for a long time, I’ve witnessed a lot of change (to say the least). Pagers, for the most part, have been replaced by cell phones. Cell phones have become smartphones. SMS has not only been adopted, but embraced. And, the call trees associated with business continuity have long been automated by emergency notification technology.

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Apr 21 2014

Emergency Preparedness and Response

By Lorin Bristow

    DRI International (DRII) has developed an overview of professional practices designed to “assist the entity in the development and implementation of a BCM program.” In addition to being sound resiliency methods, these practices serve as a foundation for various DRII business continuity professional certifications.

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Apr 14 2014

Emergency Notification: Lessons Learned from Critical Events

By Linda Young

  We may be living in the “Connected Age,” but certain situations, particularly large-scale natural disasters, have the potential to limit or inhibit our ability to communicate.

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Mar 26 2014

Plan the Test, Test the Plan

By Linda Young

  If your organization has an Emergency Notification Service (ENS) in place, it’s already taken an important step toward communicating faster and more effectively in critical situations. But, if the solution is not routinely “touched,” or better yet, tested, you could still be at risk in an actual emergency. Consider the following recommendations from Send Word Now to create a full and repeatable test cycle, ensuring your alerting readiness.

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Mar 18 2014

Developing Business Continuity Strategies

By Lorin Bristow

  DRI International (DRII) has developed an overview of professional practices designed to “assist the entity in the development and implementation of a BCM program.” In addition to being sound resiliency methods, these practices serve as a foundation for various DRII business continuity professional certifications.

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Mar 17 2014

Counting the Costs and Benefits for Business Continuity--An Emergency Notification Provider Perspective

By Linda Young

  March 17-21, 2014, is Business Continuity Awareness Week. Accordingly, some bloggers recently put pen to paper (or rather, fingers to keyboard) to contribute to Business Continuity Institute’s inaugural, March 18, flashblog, themed ‘counting the costs.’

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Mar 09 2014

Three Ps of Emergency Communication Preparedness

By Linda Young

  As a business resiliency professional, you know emergencies don’t just happen when it’s convenient. They most often occur at the worst possible times – the middle of the night, the end of the work day, or on the weekends – making communication difficult at best. Even those that take place during business hours can prove problematic given today’s increasingly mobile workforce.

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Feb 26 2014

Severe Weather Preparedness Week and Our Tornado Infographic

By Linda Young

  In like a lion, out like a lamb.

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Feb 23 2014

Event Closure--The Missing Piece of Critical Communications in Business Continuity Planning

By Linda Young

  Closure. It’s a word often used by therapists and TV talk show hosts as they help people work through bad breakups. It’s also a word that’s growing in popularity (and meaning) in the world of business continuity planning, especially as it relates to communications and the use of emergency notification technology.

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Feb 18 2014

Business Impact Analysis

By Lorin Bristow

  DRI International (DRII) has developed an overview of professional practices designed to “assist the entity in the development and implementation of a BCM program.” In addition to being sound resiliency methods, these practices serve as a foundation for various DRII business continuity professional certifications.

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Feb 10 2014

Gold Medal Business Continuity

By Linda Young

  Millions of people from around the world followed the events in Sochi this month. And, they did so with good reasons. The games were entertaining, the competition was fierce, and viewers, more than likely, felt a great sense of pride for their own countries.

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Jan 29 2014

Super Sunday: Super Security

By Linda Young

  While you’re busy planning Sunday’s “super” smorgasbord of chips, dips, sliders and wings, security professionals in New York and New Jersey are working through the final details in preparation for this weekend’s big game. This means further tightening security in airports, train stations and along city streets in order to protect fans as they make their way into the “Big Apple” to watch the two teams battle it out on the field.

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Jan 21 2014

Risk Evaluation and Control

By Lorin Bristow

  DRI International has developed an overview of professional practices designed to “assist the entity in the development and implementation of a business continuity management (BCM) program.” In addition to being sound resiliency methods, these practices serve as a foundation for various DRI business continuity professional certifications.

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Jan 12 2014

Survey Shows Risk Management is a Growing Priority

By Linda Young

    Given current events, it’s not surprising that more and more public and private sector organizations are looking for new ways to mitigate risk. After all, it’s just good business. This trend, as discussed in a recent blog post at SecurityInfoWatch.com, is supported by the results from Vidsys’ fourth annual National Security Survey.

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Jan 01 2014

New Year's Resolutions for Emergency Notification

By Linda Young

  With the arrival of a new year, many of us (myself included) have made resolutions. Personally, you may want to shed ten, or even twenty, pounds. Professionally, you may want to bulk up your organization’s business continuity/disaster recovery strategy, especially in the area of communications. Either way, it’s going to take exercise, diet and commitment if you’re going to reach your 2014 goals. 

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Dec 25 2013

2013 Year in Review: Top Five Blog Posts

By Linda Young

    2013 was a year filled with major critical events worldwide, hundreds of uses for emergency notification and many lessons learned (hopefully with best practices applied for 2014). It was also a time of great information sharing through online resources like Send Word Now’s blog. After examining the archives and reviewing our readership, we are happy to share with you the top five posts of the year. Each contains information beneficial to your organization and its business continuity practices in the year ahead. 

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Dec 12 2013

Starting Line: Initiating a BCM Program

By Lorin Bristow

  Business continuity. Disaster recovery. Continuity of operations. Organizational resilience. 

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Dec 04 2013

Preparing for Severe Winter Weather

By Linda Young

It is anticipated we'll have an active, potentially dangerous winter season, so it's a perfect time to prepare for all Mother Nature can dish out this time of year. With this in mind, the Send Word Now team offers these general tips for personal and corporate readiness during severe winter weather.

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Nov 25 2013

The "Break the Glass" Debate

By Linda Young

  Typically, you’re comparing notification providers or have implemented an on-demand alerting service for a reason–emergencies. Fortunately, though, events like hurricanes, blackouts and cyber attacks are not everyday occurrences. They are exceptional situations that prompt you to “break the glass” to set in motion your organization’s crisis communications plan. 

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Nov 12 2013

Typhoon Haiyan Leaves Total Devastation in the Philippines

By Linda Young

Packing sustained winds of 195 mph (stronger than the force of Hurricane Katrina), creating waves as high as 45 feet, and dumping more than 15 inches of rain, Typhoon Haiyan – which struck the Philippines last weekend – will go down on record as one of the most destructive storms the world has ever seen.

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Nov 06 2013

Safe and Sound: Send Word Now's System Security

By Lorin Bristow

Cyberspace can be a wild and woolly place these days. From cyber terrorist groups targeting entire government systems, to the lone hacker writing mobile device malware from his basement, threats to system security are real.

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Oct 30 2013

Superstorm Sandy Remembered

By Linda Young

Engagements, weddings and other special events…we all do our best to remember these extraordinary days year after year. Other times – bad ones like the anniversary of Superstorm Sandy – we try our hardest to forget. And, with good reason.

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Oct 24 2013

Reliability: It's More than Words

By Linda Young

“Trust me.” “I’m here for you.” “You can count on me.” As human beings, we generally depend on our friends, our spouse or partner, and our families to be there for us – especially when things are at their worst. And, rightly so.

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Oct 16 2013

Best Practices for Employee Accountability

By Linda Young

In the world of business continuity/disaster recovery (BC/DR), there’s a lot of talk about employee accountability. Problem is, planners aren't always talking about the same thing. For some, employee accountability simply means knowing personnel are safe and OK immediately after an incident. For others, it means the organization’s staff understands and executes the duties expected of them for business recovery. And for many, employee accountability means both. 

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Oct 10 2013

Great Minds Really Do Think Alike

By Linda Young

Whether your focus is business continuity/disaster recovery (BC/DR), risk management, security or even HR, you share many of the same goals when incidents jeopardize operations or employee safety. And, though your organizations’ overall strategy may vary sharply, you also share many of the same challenges. This is especially true in the area of communications when an emergency notification service (ENS) may be used.

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Sep 26 2013

National Preparedness Month: Active Shooter Survival

By Lorin Bristow

On Monday, September 16, 2013 Aaron Alexis, a former Navy reservist and active government contractor, fatally shot twelve people and injured three others in a mass shooting spree at the Naval Yard in Washington, D.C. 

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Sep 11 2013

National Preparedness Month: Outlasting the Outbreak

By Lorin Bristow

Zombies everywhere. They show up in movies, on television, and even in serious emergency management exercises. There’s just something about a brain-craving, girl-next-door-turned-monster that’s so darn appealing. What lies at the root of virtually all zombie activity? A virus. An unseen alien invader, which spreads like wildfire and turns average citizens into hallow-eyed man-eaters. 

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Sep 10 2013

Never Stop Learning

By Linda Young

President John F. Kennedy once said, “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” This aphorism couldn’t be truer than in the world of business continuity/disaster recovery where things change quickly and only the best prepared organizations can sustain. For this reason and countless others, BC/DR professionals should take advantage of every opportunity to expand their knowledge and hone their skills. Here are a few tips to keep you sharp. 

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Sep 04 2013

Interview With a Thought Leader: New York Stock Exchange (NYSE)

By Linda Young

Representing one-third of the world's equities trading and possessing the most liquidity of any global exchange group, numbers mean everything to the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) Euronext. This is true not just in shares and currency, but in communications and accountability when situations jeopardize business continuity and employee safety.

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Sep 03 2013

National Preparedness Month: Weathering the Storm

By Linda Young

As National Preparedness Month, September is the perfect time for organizations to review – and potentially improve – their business continuity/disaster recovery strategies. Over the next four weeks, Send Word Now will contribute to the preparedness discussion by highlighting some of the most common crisis scenarios faced by organizations, while outlining key considerations for communicating during critical events. For Week 1, we’ll start with a discussion of something that impacts virtually every organization—severe weather.

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Aug 12 2013

The Role of Inbound Communications in Your Emergency Notification Strategy

By Lorin Bristow

When discussing emergency notification, most conversations typically focus (rightly) on outbound alerting capabilities (particularly telephone calls). While outbound alerting is clearly the most utilized functionality of a notification system, business continuity professionals should not overlook capabilities for inbound communications that can also be essential for informing people in a crisis. The ability for stakeholders to call into an automated system, navigate menus, and retrieve information could be an important addition to any notification strategy.

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Jul 24 2013

This is a Test: Exercising Your Emergency Communications Plan

By Lorin Bristow

For public safety professionals, tests and exercises are common training methods used to prepare first responders for crisis situations. For business continuity professionals, opportunities to conduct enterprise-wide preparedness tests may realistically be more limited. However, the same principles and benefits apply. Better testing yields better results in real-life situations.

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Jul 18 2013

TRENDWATCH: Earthquake Early Warning Systems

By Lorin Bristow

California researchers are actively pursuing development and adoption of early warning technologies for earthquakes. Once thought impossible, emerging new monitoring technologies promise to give citizens and employers warnings of impending quakes 60 to 90 seconds before the ground starts shaking. Based on results from similar systems in Japan, it is believed even a short warning duration such as this would be sufficient to save lives.

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Jul 01 2013

Contact Data: More is Better for Emergency Communications

By Lorin Bristow

In the first moments of a crisis, timely communication can save lives, resources, and reputation. Unfortunately, it is often during these very moments that critical lines of communication are cut off, making contact more difficult than ever.

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Jun 05 2013

New SARS-like Virus Declared Global Threat by World Health Organization

By Lorin Bristow

A few days ago, the lead story headline on CNN.com proclaimed “New Virus Called a Global Threat.” The story highlighted remarks made by Margaret Chan, Director-General of the United Nations’ World Health Organization, at the its 66th World Congress meeting in Geneva, Switzerland. The comments were made regarding a new SARS-like virus called the Middle East Respiratory Symptom Coronavirus, or the abbreviated MERS-Cov.

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May 22 2013

Send Word Now's Newest Feature: Desktop Alerting

By Send Word Now

While diligent, intently-focused employees may be great for company revenues, they also present an alerting challenge during critical situations. Just how do you interrupt a deep-in-thought employee with their eyes glued to a computer monitor (maybe even wearing headphones)? How do you get the attention of someone engaged in an important sales or support conference call? How do you reach the person participating in an online webinar or training event? Overall, how do you alert and warn people who have taken legitimate, intentional steps to eliminate interruptions and distractions for a time period?

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May 12 2013

On the Road Again

By Send Word Now

There is nothing quite like spending quality time with customers listening to stories, getting feedback and sharing best practices. Just ask Danielle Putis, Send Word Now’s Senior Vice President of Customer Care. Danielle is the talent and energy behind the 2013 Send Word Now City Tour, a series of on-location networking events hosted across the country.

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Mar 12 2013

Send Word Now Gears up for DRJ Spring World 2013

By Lorin Bristow

Last week, business continuity and disaster recovery professionals from across the globe descended on central Florida to learn best practices and connect with peers at the DRJ Spring World 2013 conference. The event also gave the Send Word Now team an opportunity to connect with valued customers and meet new people who are keenly interested in crisis communications.

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Mar 12 2013

DRJ Spring World 2013 Lessons Learned

By Send Word Now

Next week, from March 17-20, Send Word Now will be attending and exhibiting at DRJ's Spring World 2013 Conference in Orlando, Florida. We're proud to be a Silver sponsor of the event, which is sure to be both exciting and informative.

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Feb 25 2013

Hackers Broadcast Zombie Alerts over Emergency Alert System

By Send Word Now

Earlier this month, residents of Great Falls, Montana were shocked to hear a zombie alert message broadcast over local CBS affiliate KRTV.

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Feb 13 2013

Case Study: Marston's PLC Uses Send Word Now to Coordinate its Business Continuity Efforts Throughout the UK

By Send Word Now

Marston's PLC, the UK's leading independent brewing and pub retailing business, operates over 2,000 locations across England and Wales. From pubs passionate about cask beers, to family restaurants and town centre venues – Marston's has all types of establishments set at the heart of thriving local communities.

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Feb 07 2013

As Northeastern U.S. Prepares for Potential Blizzard, Emergency Alert System Shows Gaps

By Send Word Now

Winter Storm Nemo is headed for the east coast, and the big question on everybody's mind is: will this be a blizzard for the record books? While some weather service agencies have set their predictions at 3 inches of snowfall, others are expecting ten times that much.

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Feb 06 2013

Blizzard Warning Issued for the Northeast U.S.

By Send Word Now

A blizzard warning has been issued for most the northeast. Dubbed Winter Storm Nemo, the storm is expected to dump anywhere from one to two feet of snow along the East Coast from Pennsylvania to Maine. Snow is predicted to start early Friday morning and last through Saturday.

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Feb 04 2013

Bomb Explodes at Entrance to U.S. Embassy in Turkey

By Send Word Now

On Friday afternoon, a suicide bomber detonated a blast at one of the entrances to the United States embassy in Ankara, Turkey, killing himself and one Turkish security guard. Several other people were wounded in the explosion, which is currently being attributed to a member of a leftist terrorist group in Turkey.

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Jan 27 2013

Case Study: How McCann Erickson Used Send Word Now in Hurricane Sandy

By Send Word Now

McCann Erickson, the world’s largest advertising agency network, is a part of McCann Worldgroup, a preeminent global marketing communications company with offices and clients in over 100 countries.

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Jan 14 2013

Rising Temperatures in Australia a Reminder to Evaluate Wildfire Communications Plans

By Send Word Now

Australia is getting so hot that the heat map is running out of colors! Last week, as a record-breaking heat wave hovered over many regions and territories, the continent’s Bureau of Meteorology added two new colors to the weather map, reports Yahoo News. Claudine Zap writes, “the map currently shows the weather in orange tones at the top, which indicate temperatures 40 to 48 degrees Celsius. But forecasts are predicting off-the-charts weather. As a result, pink and purple will now cover temperatures over 50 degrees Celsius—should it climb that high.”

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Dec 27 2012

Wishing You a Happy New Year

By Send Word Now

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Dec 26 2012

Crisis Communications During Hurricane Sandy

By Send Word Now

It’s been two months since Superstorm Sandy tore across the Caribbean and the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern United States, killing hundreds and causing tens of billions of dollars in damage. In many areas, the real recovery effort has only just become, especially for many small business owners and those who have been forced to relocate homes.

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Nov 06 2012

Northeast Hit by Winter Storm One Week after Sandy

By Send Word Now

While residents of the Northeast try to recover from Hurricane Sandy, another storm is set to hit the already battered area. A nor’easter will strike the area with strong winds, rain, and heavy snow on Wednesday and Thursday.

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Oct 31 2012

West Coast of Canada Recovers from 7.7 Magnitude Earthquake

By Send Word Now

On Saturday night, a 7.7-magnitude earthquake struck just off the coast of British Columbia, Canada, triggering Tsunami warnings throughout the region and even as far away as Hawaii. The earthquake, which was the strongest to strike Canada in over 60 years, caused some power outages. Thankfully, no major damages have been reported.

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Oct 25 2012

Superstorm Sandy Headed to East Coast for Halloween Weekend

By Send Word Now

Cities along the eastern coast of the United States are bracing for Hurricane Sandy this weekend, a storm that may turn into what government forecasters have dubbed “Frankenstorm” - an unusual mix of a winter storm and a hurricane. According to the AP, the worst of the storm is likely to hit New York City and New Jersey, while its effects will be felt all the way from Florida to Ohio.

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Oct 17 2012

Send Word Now Named to Software Magazine's Software 500

By Send Word Now

Send Word Now is proud to announce that we have been included in Software Magazine’s Software 500 ranking of the world’s largest software and service providers, for the third consecutive year! This year, we were ranked No. 442 on the list, with software revenue of $14.1 million.

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Sep 30 2012

Send Word Now Celebrates Another Successful DRJ Show

By Send Word Now

In case you missed it, Send Word Now had the privilege of being the gold sponsor of this year's Disaster Recovery Journal's DRJ Fall business continuity conference. The show was held from September 9-11 at the Sheraton Hotel and Marina in sunny San Diego, California. We had an absolute blast!

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Sep 06 2012

Check Out Send Word Now at ASIS 2012

By Send Word Now

Next week, we'll be showcasing our notification platform at ASIS 2012 Seminar and Exhibits, which will take place from September 10-13in Philadelphia, PA. This education education and networking event will bring together more than 20,000 security professionals from more than 90 countries for education, networking, and an expansive exhibit floor of security products and services.

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Aug 26 2012

Isaac Heads for Gulf Coast:Delays Republican National Convention

By Send Word Now

As Storm Isaac heads for the U.S. Gulf Coast, a hurricane warning has been issued for the region and states of emergency have been declared by the governors of Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi. The storm, which has already caused severe destruction as it tore through Haiti and Cuba, “may spur short-term shutdowns of 85 percent of the U.S. offshore oil production capacity and 68 percent of the natural gas output,” says Reuters.

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Aug 08 2012

Manila Remains Flooded by Monsoon Rains

By Send Word Now

The Philippine capital continues to struggle with widespread flooding after nearly two weeks of constant monsoon rains, reports Sky News out of Australia. Our own Regional Sales Manager, Arnel Capili, tells us that most areas of the city are now under water and without power and that the Government has suspended work in all public offices. Although the rains are expected to let up soon, nearly 2 million people have already been affected by the floods.

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Aug 07 2012

Introducing Our Full Suite of Mobile Apps

By Send Word Now

With the recent release of our Android application, Send Word Now is proud to announce that we are now the first provider in the industry to offer a robust suite of mobile applications across all three major devices – BlackBerry, iPhone, and Android.

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Aug 07 2012

Case Study: How NetApp Uses Send Word Now for to Keep Employees Safe

By Send Word Now

NetApp, a proprietary computer storage and data management company, is headquartered in Sunnyvale, California, but its employees work at over 150 sites worldwide. This means that keeping those staff members safe, secure, and well-informed during emergencies can be a real challenge.

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Aug 05 2012

India Suffers Largest Blackout After Electricity Grid Failure

By Send Word Now

Early last Monday morning, the entire Northern power grid of India went dark, leaving millions without power. But India's blackout problems worsened on Tuesday as three of the country's regional power grids collapsed, leaving over half the country without electricity for several hours.

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Jul 24 2012

Another 1200 British Troops Called Up as London Prepares for Olympic Games

By Send Word Now

The New York Times reports today that the British Government has called up an additional 1,200 troops in preparation for the Olympic Games, which are set to start this Friday evening. This increase in manpower comes “amid intensifying concerns over the security plan,” and “an embarrassing failure by the global security company, G4S, to provide the staff it promised,” reports the Times.

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Jul 22 2012

Let the Games Begin!

By Send Word Now

With just days left until the Olympics, everyone is anxiously waiting for the start of the games! Now that athletes and officials arriving in London, the city is sure to be buzzing with excitement and activity surrounding the events. Prepare for the crowds and heightened security as the 2012 London Summer Olympics draw closer.

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Jul 08 2012

Case Study: How Sears Uses Send Word Now's WeatherBlast® to Protect Staff and Customers

By Send Word Now

Clint Fransen, Crisis and Emergency Manager at Sears Holdings Corporation, helps to oversee Crisis and Emergency Operations at Sears Holdings’ 3,900 retail locations throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Virgin Islands. He is responsible for ensuring that the stores, which offer a wide range of home merchandise, apparel and automotive products and services, are kept both safe and secure no matter what happens. Whether the threat is a natural disaster, an on-site shooter, or an approaching tornado, it's Fransen's job to make sure that Sears responds to it as quickly and as effectively as possible.

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Jun 25 2012

Tropical Storm Debby Hits, Causes Power Outages and Flooding in Florida

By promo_site_admin_hs9iwnc8

On June 23rd, FEMA and the National Hurricane Center broke news of the development of Tropical Storm Debby. The storm, which formed in the Gulf of Mexico, already had estimated wind speeds of 50 mph and was set to move north through the southern states. Since then, the storm has done considerable damage, causing power outages and flooding.

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Jun 21 2012

Emergency Management Magazine on How to Prepared for a Large-scale Event

By Send Word Now

With the UEFA European Soccer Championship now underway through Poland and the Ukraine, and the London Olympic Games set to start in just over a month, security professionals in Europe have certainly got their hands full preparing for possible disruptions. As we've mentioned in the past, large-scale events can pose very unique challenges to crisis managers.

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Jun 19 2012

Send Word Now is Integral Part of Mt. St. Vincent's Emergency Response Plan

By Send Word Now

The College of Mount Saint Vincent, located just 12 miles away from midtown Manhattan, offers exceptional academic and professional programs to almost 2,000 undergraduate and graduate students. And the College, which spans over 70-acres, makes it a top priority to keep those students safe, along with all faculty, staff, and other members of the community.

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Jun 18 2012

BOMA/Chicago Highlits Use of Send Word Now During NATO Summit

By Send Word Now

In a recent post on The Elevator Speech, the online voice of Chicago's building owners and managers (BOMA/Chicago), Executive Vice President Michael Cornicelli lists five takeaways from last months' NATO Summit, which was held in the windy city.

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Jun 03 2012

ASIS UK Prepares for the Olympics with Send Word Now

By Send Word Now

With just 52 days until the 2012 Olympic Games, businesses and organizations in London are preparing for the big event. The UK Chapter of ASIS International announced Friday that they will be using Send Word Now’s messaging service to send out security alerts and urgent messages during this summer’s Games.

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May 23 2012

How a Major Public Service Company Uses Send Word Now

By Send Word Now

When a large utility company based in Southwestern United States decided to modernize its crisis responsibilities, it knew that it needed to make on-demand communication with its employees a priority. With this in mind, it looked for an emergency notification system that was reliable, robust, and capable of reaching all of the company's 9,000 employees via multiple channels in a matter of seconds. The company found all of that - and more - in Send Word Now.

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May 20 2012

CEO Tony Schmitz Interviewed by ABS-CBN News Channel

By Send Word Now

In April, Send Word Now CEO and President Tony Schmitz attended Protect 2012 in Manila, Philippines and gave a presentation titled "The 7 Deadly Sins of Crisis Communication". Send Word Now was the platinum sponsor of the event.

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May 16 2012

New Legislation would Enact Steeper Penalties for Schools Failing to Meet Security Standards

By Send Word Now

Last month, Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) unveiled new legislation aimed at protecting students from harm on college and university campuses. The Michael Pohle Jr. Campus Emergency Alert Act, named after a victim of the Virginia Tech massacre, would enact steeper penalties for schools failing to meet requirements set forth by the Clery Act.

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May 13 2012

Tony Schmitz Named Finalist in Business Continuity Paper of the Year

By Send Word Now

We are proud to announce that the paper written by our very own Tony Schmitz, Send Word Now President and CEO, has been shortlisted in the “Business Continuity Paper of the Year” competition hosted by Continuity Central and the Business Continuity and Resiliency Journal!

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May 10 2012

From the CTO's Desk: Encryption of Data in the Cloud

By Alex Tsepetis

Keeping data secure is of the utmost importance and nobody wants to see their name above the fold. Protecting your data takes on a whole new level of importance when it comes to storing and managing personal information. While most firms take great pains to protect data in transit, Send Word Now is among the few who have gone the extra mile to protect data at rest.

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May 09 2012

BOMA/Chicago will use Send Word Now During NATO Summit

By Send Word Now

On May 20th and 21st, the City of Chicago will serve as the host for the 2012 North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Summit, one of the most important diplomatic conferences of this year. Chicago is the first US city outside of Washington, D.C. to host the summit, which will bring thousands of dignitaries, government officials, and journalists together for two days of meetings and related events.

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Apr 18 2012

Send Word Now to Serve as Platinum Sponsor of PROTECT 2012 in Philippines

By Send Word Now

We are excited to announce that Send Word Now will be this year's platinum sponsor of the PROTECT 2012 International Exhibition and Conference in the Philippines. The conference, which will take place from April 25-26 the 7th in an annual series held by Leverage International Consultants. This trail-blazing event will bring together think-tank experts, specialists and stakeholders to exchange ideas and develop innovative solutions to establish and implement organizational resilience.

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Apr 09 2012

Send Word Now is First Notification Provider to Complete SSAE 16 Audit

By Send Word Now

Send Word Now announced today that it is the first notification provider in the industry to have successfully completed a SSAE 16 audit. The SSAE 16 (Statement on Standards for Attestation Engagement No. 16) is a widely recognized attestation engagement standard for service organizations and was developed by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AIPCA). It replaces the SAS 70 reporting standard in June 2011.

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Apr 02 2012

Large Tornadoes Roll through Dallas-Ft. Worth

By Send Word Now

Two tornadoes touched down in the Dallas-Fort Worth area today, collapsing roofs, tossing tractor trailers, grounding planes and damaging about 500 structures. The National Weather service reported that the tornado south of Fort Worth caused “considerable damage” near Cleburne. A tornado watch has since been put into effect until 8:00 PM as violent storms pass through the north-central and northeastern part of Texas.

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Mar 28 2012

Participate in Severe Weather Week

By Send Word Now

April 2-6 has been declared Severe Weather Awareness Week by Iowa Homeland Security, Emergency Management Division, and the National Weather Service. On Wednesday, April 4, Iowa state residents will go through a statewide tornado drill beginning at 10 a.m. Individual counties, such as Allamakee County, will hear Outdoor Warning Sirens at 10:20 a.m. Residents are encouraged to take this drill as a chance to plan for potential disaster situations. They are also advised to learn the different warning signals used for their community in case of severe weather, create an emergency supply kit, and consider purchasing a NOAA Weather Radio, a radio that continuously broadcasts weather information.

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Mar 22 2012

Send Word Now Releases 2011 Business Continuity Report

By Send Word Now

Send Word Now took a look back at 2011 and reviewed business continuity management and best practices across industries and released findings in our 2011 Business Continuity Report.

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Mar 18 2012

Google Gets it Right Securing your Accounts with Two-factor Authentication

By Send Word Now

In a new ad campaign to help clarify its new security and privacy policies, Google has demonstrated that pictures really can be worth a thousand words. Over the past few weeks, we've seen these cute and simple drawings all over the New York subway system. One ad in particular caught our attention – it's the one that highlights two-factor authentication as an important part of any online security policy.

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Mar 06 2012

From the CTO's Desk: Single Sign-on Is Here

By Alex Tsepetis

Send Word Now is pleased to announce a new series of blog posts, “From the CTO's Desk,” written by our very own Chief Technology Officer, Alex Tsepetis. Alex joined our team in 2010 and has been working in mission-critical technology environments for over 15 years. His experiences span various industry verticals including financial services, travel, and interactive marketing, and he has a keen understanding of large scale data management and distributed systems.

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Mar 01 2012

Severe Storms and Tornadoes Wreack Havoc on the Midwest and the South

By Send Word Now

Earlier this week, parts of the Midwest and the south were ravaged by deadly storms and tornadoes. The severe weather resulted in major damage to the area and a number of injuries and deaths in the region. The LA Times reports, “At least 13 deaths, hundreds of injuries, and millions of dollars of damage were reported this week.” The first of the violent storms hit early on Wednesday morning and caused damage to homes and businesses in the Midwest and the South. In some states, the storm had passed by midday but winds were still strong and reached 170 mph while people tried to sort through the piles of debris left behind. In Branson, Missouri, a town not too far from Joplin, MO, hotels, historical theaters, and museums sustained significant damage. The Huffington post reported that “intense winds sucked furniture away” at the downtown Hilton and that “it could be almost two months” for popular shows could be performed again at the Branson Variety Theater. In Harrisburg, IL, walls collapsed at the Harrisburg Medical Center just as staff was trying to discharge patients who could go home and new injured patients were coming in.

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Feb 22 2012

Insurance Costs from Storm Joachim May Cost over 300 Million Euros

By Send Word Now

Windstorm Joachim, which tore through France, Germany, and Switzerland earlier this winter, may cost property insurers 300 million euros, according to Zurich-based insurance industry initiative PERILS AG. The storm which struck between December 15-17, 2011, produced winds of up to 212 km/h or 132 mph and caused power outages, train delays, and closures throughout Western Europe.

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Feb 05 2012

The Great U.S. Central Shakeout

By Send Word Now

Tomorrow morning at 10:15 AM CST, individuals, private organizations, and public entities from Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Tennessee will participate in the Great Central U.S. ShakeOut. The ShakeOut has been created to help people and organizations get better prepared for major earthquakes, to practice how to protect themselves when they happen.

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Feb 05 2012

Snowfall and Icy Roads Disrupt Travel Plans in the UK

By Send Word Now

Recent snowfall in the UK has resulted in numerous road, rail, and air travel disruptions. The weather has already resulted in over 1,000 grounded flights, leaving those with London-bound travel plans stranded in airports as they awaited new flight information. Others were forced to spend the night in their cars as road conditions proved to be too hazardous for travel.

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Jan 31 2012

Scotland Yard and Royal Marines Prepare for Olympics

By Send Word Now

Several weeks ago, elite British security teams took part in a series of disaster readiness drills in London as a part of their ongoing preparation for this summer's Olympic Games. The drills "were designed to make sure that everyone has the same level of knowledge about how the river operates and how our tactics work together," reports British Force News.

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Jan 29 2012

FEMA Honors Organizations for their Outstanding Achievements in Community Preparedness

By Send Word Now

The Federal Emergency Management (FEMA) has announced the winners of the 2011 FEMA Individual and Community Preparedness Awards, and we're pleased to say that one of the winners is a Send Word Now customer. The Awards, which were previously known as the Citizen Corps Achievement Awards, recognize preparedness efforts that took place during the award period of January 1, 2010 through June 1, 2011. According to Citizen Corps, FEMA's community organizing branch, the Awards "recognize the innovative practices and achievements of organizations and individuals that work to make our communities safer, stronger, and better prepared to manage any emergency situation."

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Jan 25 2012

Send Word Now is Platinum Sponsor of 2nd Annual Business Continuity and Emergency Response Forum

By Send Word Now

After much success in its inaugural forum in 2011, Fleming Gulf Conference will host the 2nd Annual Business Continuity and Emergency Response Forum from February 13-14, 2012 in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Send Word Now announced yesterday that it is the platinum sponsor of the event.

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Jan 22 2012

South Africa's Greatest Business Continuity Challenges in 2012

By Send Word Now

ContinuitySA, the African leader in business continuity management, has just released a list of the top 10 business continuity issues facing South Africa in 2012._ Continuity Central summarizes the report, which analyzes the risks that South African companies and their boards should be factoring into their planning for 2012, here.

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Jan 19 2012

Tony Schmitz Answers the Question, "Was the Emergency Alert System Test a Failure?"

By Send Word Now

In the latest issue of Disaster Recovery Journal, Send Word Now's very own Tony Schmitz tackles the issues of what went wrong during November's nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS), the media communications based alerting system designed to transmit warning regarding imminent threats, child abductions, and presidential alerts to the American public at the national, state and local levels.

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Jan 05 2012

Send Word Now Celebrates Success in Preparedness Through Partnership with NJEdge.net

By Send Word Now

Almost a year ago, Send Word Now announced that it was awarded a contract for emergency notification services by NJEDge.Net, a non-profit technology consortium of academic and research institutions in New Jersey that introduces emerging technologies and state-of-the-art networking to its partners in academia, government and industry for inter-institutional collaboration, scholarship and research. Today, we'd like to celebrate the success of that initiative.

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Jan 02 2012

Australian Parliament Report Casts Doubt on Western Australia's Wildfire Preparedness

By Send Word Now

In a report released this past November, Australian Parliament highlights a series of flaws in Western Australia's fire agencies' abilities to prepare for destructive bushfires. The Sydney Morning Herald reports "the Community Development and Justice Standing Committee report examined the response to the recommendations in the Keelty Report over February's fires and found only nine of 55 recommendations had been implemented."

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