In a crisis, whether it’s a natural disaster or one that is human-caused, stress and confusion can cloud the decision-making abilities of even the most experienced leaders. Preparing ahead can save critical minutes and even lives.
We want to share with you some simple templates that organizations, universities, businesses and community leaders can create to have on hand in those moments of crisis. Keeping people informed and safe is our shared mission with you.
It’s a reality of our times that active shooter events happen in places of business, schools, places of worship and beyond. A template that includes your text-to-connect number is usually best, as people in active shooter events are urged to stay in place, and stay completely quiet.
Sample: From the Police Department or ((Agency)): There is an active shooter at ______ and ________ at ________ p.m. Everyone must stay in their location. Do not let anyone access into the building. Stay away from windows and block the doors if possible. Police and security officials are stationed at checkpoints to keep you safe, and we are on the scene investigating. If you need immediate assistance or see something regarding this active shooter event, please text _______.
Whether it’s a wildfire, a major flood, or an industrial accident, sometimes buildings and even entire communities will need to be evacuated to keep people safe from harm.
Sample: From ((Agency)):: Mandatory, immediate evacuation order. A _____ is in effect near your location that requires IMMEDIATE evacuation. Follow your designated evacuation route until you receive a notification from us to return. Please text us at ____ if you are unable to evacuate.
There are times in emergencies, particularly during extreme weather like tornadoes, that evacuating buildings or communities proves to be deadly. There are also surrounding threats — for instance, an active shooter event in a nearby building — where keeping people safe and in place is the best option for them at the time. Telling people to shelter-in-place is common, and having a two-tap option to inform dozens if not tens of thousands of people to do so saves lives.
Sample: From the ((Agency)): An emergency _________ has occurred near you. You are to shelter in place. Find an interior room or rooms within your facility, or ones with no or few windows, and take refuge there. If you need immediate assistance, please text _____.
Ice storms in Florida? Extreme heat to shut down a construction zone in chilly Seattle? It happens. How do you shut down a campus or evacuate a development and keep people safe at home? Mass notifications. An easy two-tap solution could be at your fingertips.
Sample: From ((Agency)): This is an alert. This _______ dangerous condition directly affects you and we want to keep you safe and informed. The ____ is now closed until further notice. Please stay in place until we can provide more information. If you need immediate emergency assistance, please call 911.
BOLO (Be on the Lookout)
Sometimes, authorities need the rest of us to be on the lookout (BOLO) for a dangerous person. More often, there may be an at-risk person with disabilities, a patient who needs assistance, a child who has wandered off, or a vehicle or other items that a community can help identify and report. Be on the lookout!
Sample: We ((Agency)) are aware that there is a person we need to locate immediately. The individual identified as (name) and is (looks, age, size, race, gender.) We need everyone to be on the lookout for this person. Please contact us at (phone number) if you see this person or know someone who has.
A real publicly released BOLO:
TSA is aware of numerous incidents involving a suspicious person attempting to gain unauthorized access to aircraft and facilities at primarily Fixed Based Operators (FBOs). The individual identified as Ahmed O SALAU aka SALAN (see image) has reportedly visited several FBOs falsely presenting himself as either a passenger or crew member with the intent to gain unauthorized access to aircraft and/or facilities. TSA is also aware that the same individual may have also telephonically contacted FBOs in an attempt to gather passenger and aircraft data.
As a result, TSA is issuing this BOLO for your security awareness. Contact the TSOC at 877-456-8722 or 703-563-3240 and local law enforcement if you contact or suspect suspicious or fraudulent activity regarding the individual mentioned above.
Even the best-planned emergencies will encounter… an emergency. Perhaps your admin is in a position or location where they cannot communicate with others. Communities and businesses that need to stay safe and informed need a structure that ensures when someone cannot sound the alarm, the people who can are clearly identified and informed of their duties. A delegation strategy template is a must.
Attention: This is not a drill. You from the ((organization here)) are an admin of our emergency notification network. You have been selected to push out all emergency notifications until further notice. You have both the authority and responsibility to use our network to send notices about this emergency _____ (state the emergency). If you are available, text “A” immediately.