While going through some files this past weekend, I came across an emergency communications tool that I created some time ago for a client and thought “Hey, with summer’s sometimes volatile weather soon upon us this would be a good tool to share for my Tuesday blog post.” Like almost everyone else, I had no idea what Monday would hold. So, I share this hoping you’ll complete the form and never need to use it.
The power and importance of social media cannot be overstated, especially in times of emergency. A well thought out emergency communication plan will be vital. A record of login information can help you save critical time in the unfortunate event that an emergency arises.
There are a couple things to keep in mind when you prepare your actual communication:
- In the event of a natural or manmade disaster, people may be without power but still able to use their smart phone for communicating and gathering information. Remember that battery power may be precious. Keep your communications succinct and avoid too many images or videos that can use up battery life.
- Text messages use less power and bandwidth and travel more easily than phone calls through crowded cell circuits. Consider using text messages if needed for internal team communication and be certain to have your team members’ cell numbers saved in your phone.
- Communicate. Keep the information freely flowing so that interested parties feel informed. Remember that people from outside your area will likely visit your sites for information if family and friends are affected by the emergency you’re reporting. During an emergency, the use of tools that allow you to post on multiple platforms at once could be useful. Remember to search for Google Person Finder and see if they’ve created a search/find for your event. If so, you’ll want to share that with your community
- Assign a lead and a backup. You want to be certain that a succinct, accurate message is being delivered.
- Keep a log of what you post. Your exact post will remain in cyberspace and can be collected at a later time if needed, but do keep track of when you posted and to what platform(s).
If your organization has used social media during a crisis, we’d love to hear what worked and didn’t work for you. If you’d like to have a copy of the fillable login form, just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll send it to you.