Public Alerting during Hurricane Irma
When Hurricane Irma threatened Miami in September 2017, it posed a greater threat to the city’s 1.9 million residents who speak a language other than English at home. While Miami’s preferred language is Spanish, emergency alerts from the American Red Cross, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and other first-responder and aid organizations were given in English. This mismatched language situation created a troubling challenge to effective emergency communication.
This communication barrier prevented individuals from having the updated information, knowing what to expect, and where to get help, which added unnecessary chaos and confusion. This recent natural disaster highlights the language barrier challenge government organizations face in communicating with the public in times of emergency. These same difficulties exist for enterprises. When a disaster strikes, employees are going to react more quickly and more appropriately if the communication they receive is in their native language.
English ISN’T the Official Language of Emergencies
English may be considered the official language of business, but that doesn’t mean it is always the most effective. Research has shown that even two years after a company implements an English-only policy, nearly 70% of employees continued to experience frustration with it. If that struggle exists in day-to-day business communication, how much more difficult will English-only communication be during a high-stress, crisis situation?
Speed is of the Essence
When a crisis strikes, communication to employees must happen immediately. Every minute lost could result in additional losses in inventory, facilities or, in the worst cases, employees’ lives. If there is an active shooter in your facility or a tornado endangering your retail storefront, there is no time to break out your English to French dictionary, try to use Google Translate, or to hire a professional translator. You need to communicate with your employees as quickly as possible, and you need your communication to be understood immediately.
A Useful Tool
With more and more threats (both natural and man-made) affecting businesses every day, letting language barriers prevent you from protecting your company, your assets, and your personnel just isn’t an option. The way to meet the need of timely native language communication in times of crisis or emergency is a communication tool that is built for crisis management and provides artificial intelligence based translation.
AlertSense’s intuitive mobile app provides in-stream translation in over 60 languages, enabling you to quickly and effectively manage any crisis, in any area of the world by enabling communication in each person’s native language.
With the AlertSense crisis management platform, organizations can quickly communicate, organize and resolve crises through the use of in-stream (machine) translation. Each and every employee, manager and emergency personnel can immediately send and receive information in their native language.
AlertSense’s crisis management platform and intuitive mobile app provide in-stream translation in over 60 languages, enabling you to quickly and effectively manage any crisis, in any area of the world by enabling communication in each person’s native language.