During an emergency event, the ability for an organization to quickly and accurately communicate with staff and stakeholders is one of the most critical aspects of emergency response. The North Dakota Department of Health provides a mass notification platform, free of charge, for local public health units, hospitals and long term care facilities.
Participating organizations are responsible for keeping their contact lists up to date. These lists will be formatted by the organizations and uploaded by State staff. There are no restrictions on the number of lists your organization may utilize. Lists may include, but are not limited to, the following:
- All staff
- Certain staffing groups, such as administration, or direct care
- Individuals making up an ICS or response team
- Next of kin
If you are interested in learning more about this mass notification system and how your organization can benefit from this service, contact Crystalynn Kuntz (701-355-1546) for more information.
We ask that you keep the theme of the messaging emergency-based (Examples include, but are not limited to pandemic, active shooter, shelter in place, flood, fire or weather response). However, when testing messages, your message may be less formal.
When you are ready for a messaging to be sent out, you must provide the following 5 points of information:
- Your typed message. Please do not scan in handwritten notes as this will lengthen response time and allow for potential mistakes made to messages.
- List(s) name. This list name will contain some abbreviations that will help tell an individual what regional organization’s list is being utilized. An example of a list name is LPU-SWC-BBPH All Staff.
- Message delivery preference. Messages can be sent out immediately or be scheduled to go live at a specific day/time.
- Originating phone number. Most facilities utilize their organization’s main number. However, any number may be used.
- Preferred delivery methods. The mass notification system delivers messages in the order of email, text messages and phone calls. You may choose to deliver to all, or any combination of delivery methods. The order of delivery can not be altered, however.
Please note that pictures (maps, locations, etc.) may accompany your messaging, if you so desire. However, these attachments will not translate for someone answering the phone call method of delivery.
Non-Emergency vs. Emergency Events
If you need to send a non-emergency message to one or more of your contact lists during traditional business hours (traditionally Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.), you may email email@example.com with the five items needed to complete the messaging. This email is monitored 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday (with the exception of government holidays).
If you need to send a message to one or more of your contact lists due to an emergency (like a building fire, active shooter, evacuation, train derailment, etc.), you may call (701) 328-2270 and ask for the case manager. If it is after hours or the weekend, press 2 when you hear the recording. This will transfer your call and you may then ask for the Department of Health Case Manager to be paged. The Case Manager will return your call, and you may then inform him/her that you are requesting a HAN alert. Please specify if this is an exercise or real event.