In the event of a business interruption, emergency, event or a disaster where employees or community members need to be notified that there is a change in operational procedure, a formal process of notification following a prescribed community/organizational fan out should occur.
During normal or regular working hours, Senior Management of every administration or branch of the community will be notified and the message or directions will be passed in the most effective and expeditious way possible, usually by word of mouth, e-mail or telephone. It is very important to maintain a high level of confidence that every employee receives clear messaging and direction in a timely manner.
In the case of an emergency, the emergency evacuation plan should be activated. Appropriate authorities will be notified via the appropriate emergency system. (911)
In the case of an after-hours event that necessitates notification, the community’s Fan Out Process will be employed. Before this messaging is released, senior approval is required. The messaging should contain a brief statement of the circumstances, where and when to report and to monitor the radio media, web pages, media and or 1-800 message numbers.
Organizational Fan-Out Process
As the Community’s Human Resource Branch manages the human resources and is uniquely privy to employees’ personal data including contact numbers, it is recommended that they will be responsible for the maintenance of the Community/Organizational Fan Out list as well as maintaining the messaging on the 1-800 lines (this role could also be detailed to the Communications or PR staff). If the community does not have a Human Resource branch or it is not appropriate for that branch to administer the Fan-Out process, someone must be designated the responsibility.
Organizational notification should be dispatched in the following distinct phases:
i) Community Executive Management
ii) Emergency Manager, BCM Manager
iii) Community Duty Officer, Clerk, Chief Operations Officer (COO)
iv) Communications Director (Public Relations Officer, Public Information Officer (PIO)
v) Police, Security, Constabulary
vi) Divisional Executive Directors/Directors – Employees
vii) General Public
Event appropriate messaging must be updated on the 1-800 #s and changed accordingly at the direction of the Communications/PR branch.
Fan-Out model are generally based on the hierarchical organizational structure of a community or organization. It serves an organization or business structure better than a community model as most communities even though they are hierarchical structured, it is much more subtle than a business or organization. Communities are hierarchical structured at the top; Mayor, Deputy, Clerk, Police Chief, Fire Chief, Engineer; however, become less obvious as the next tier of authority is identified and even less in the lower tiers.
<Fan out diagram>
Business and organizations are established on the foundations of authority, accountability and chains of command, therefore straight line notification can be successful as it normally follows chain of command, production or divisional breakdowns such as departments or branches. This approach is successful because of responsible accountability which is part of the individuals work requirement (salary rewards) while community’s are driven largely by volunteers who are driven by other rewards which depending on timing, the issue and availability determines who responds or not.
While having an operational Fan-Out process in place there is a requirement to have a larger notification process available to community members at large as well as for those members who for whatever reason were unable to receive their notification via the described systems. General messaging should be established via telecommunications lines such as a call in 1-800 # with a pre-recorded detailed outgoing only message giving specific information pertaining to this particular fan-out or incident. With modern day technologies this process can be simple or complex depending on the scope of who needs what information and when. With out-going messaging stakeholders, suppliers, contractors, media, response groups and general public can have access to tailored messaging directed at each specific group.
Through private telecommunications providers; specialized notification, emergency management and response software solutions are available to assist and enhance the conveyance and interoperability of information to and from the event scene, command posts and emergency operation centres or Senior Management.