Communicating after a disaster
One surprising challenge businesses may experience after a natural disaster is something that is usually pretty simple: communication. Whether you are trying to get in touch with your employees, team members or clients, communication can become a hurdle when power lines, cellular service and internet are down. Here are some of the best methods we found for communicating here at CONRIC after Hurricane Irma.
Social Media: Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are great outlets for communicating before, during and after a crisis, allowing us to update a large range of people in a short amount of time. After Hurricane Irma, many people were updating their friends and family informing them of their safety and whereabouts. Similarly, businesses can update their social media pages to alert employees and clients of their current situation.
Text Messages: If the internet is down, text messages allow you to update your employees quickly that the office is without power and to determine if they will be able to work remotely. Likewise, you can simply text clients to check on them and reschedule existing engagements.
Email: Make sure you have a backup or alternate personal email address for your team members. Some might not have access to their work email or check it often at home.
Phone Calls: Texts and emails can be very easy to ignore. Here at CONRIC, if we were unable to reach a client by email or text message, we proceeded to reach out by cell phone to let the client know our status as well as assess any client needs. Naturally, you’ll want to keep conversations brief and to the point to conserve battery power for both parties.
When it comes to communicating after a natural disaster, covering your bases and considering all possible angles to convey a message is the best way to go. We can all use our brush with natural disaster as a prompt to establish contingency plan procedures and ensure every employee knows what to do for every “what if?” situation.