The BCI Emergency & Crisis Communications Report 2024 is the tenth anniversary edition, providing insights into changes, trends, and concerns in emergency and crisis communications over the past decade. The report highlights the significant shift to remote working, leading to a decrease in onsite communication and an increase in the use of smartphones and other digital solutions for crisis management. However, failures in emergency communication plans are often due to human factors such as lack of response, inaccurate staff contact information, and a lack of understanding of emergency procedures. Organizations are increasingly recognizing the importance of regular training and exercising of crisis communication plans, with nearly 80% conducting training programs at least once a year.

The report discusses the importance of prompt information and regular updates in crisis situations, highlighting employee safety as a significant concern, especially for lone workers. It notes the increase in hybrid working patterns and the decrease in employees working exclusively from home post-pandemic. The report details the various functions supported by crisis management tools, with a focus on alerting and mobilizing people quickly and ensuring employee safety. It addresses the challenges and satisfaction levels with current emergency communication tools, emphasizing the need for better integration and functionality.

Source: THE BCI

The document details various triggers for emergency or crisis communications plans, with cyber security incidents and adverse weather being the most common. It highlights that most organizations can activate their plans within an hour, with a notable number able to respond in under 30 minutes. The document discusses challenges in crisis management, such as complex incidents, geographically diverse workforce, and budget constraints. It also examines the impact of technology on response times, showing that dedicated emergency communication tools lead to faster activation.

The report highlights the need for training within business continuity teams and the benefits of conducting exercises, both tabletop and live events, to build familiarity and comfort among stakeholders in emergency management. The section also touches on the challenges of gathering information post-event due to manual record-keeping and the lack of incident management software. Additionally, it emphasizes the value of post-incident reviews and after-action plans to identify and address gaps, with a focus on improving response strategies and involving senior management in risk decisions.