Fires in California. Floods in Texas. Catastrophic emergencies.
Lesser emergencies can be catastrophic to your small business or your large organization as well: power outages, fire or flood in your building, other damage to your property.
Communications planning should be the first step in your emergency planning. If you and your staff can’t communicate with each other, how will you get through the emergency and allow your business to recover?
Following are a few tips to help you prepare for communications in the event of an emergency.
- Ensure that all staff have paper and digital rosters of their cell phone numbers,mergency contact names and phone numbers, home addresses. In case of a regional emergency, you will want to know where individuals live, to determine who might be directly affected.
- Keep emergency supplies (water, food, flashlights) on site in case staff must stay on site overnight — and remind staff periodically where those are kept.
- Among your emergency supplies, stock up on poster board, wide tip markers, duct tape – all of which can be useful if computer systems and telephones fail and signage is needed to aid communication.
- Ask each staff member to create a document listing medical conditions, current medications, relevant medical history and emergency contacts. Place each document in a sealed envelope with his/her name on it for any emergency affecting that individual on site. The envelope could be handed to emergency personnel or others as needed.
- Be sure your most important business documents and employee/customer rosters are backed up on redundant computer systems so that they are accessible in an emergency or for business recovery.
- Prepare emergency messages for your website (in advance) so that employees, customers, suppliers, investors, board members and others will know of your status – especially if your business is closed for any period of time.
- Create an emergency communications plan and meet with staff to review and discuss it at least three times a year so the information stays fresh.
The Activ Consulting Group is available to consult with you on your emergency communications plan. We have found it effective to do “desktop” drills at least twice a year. These drills involve talking through an emergency scenario and asking individual staff what they would do or what messages they would create for fellow employees or customers.
Let us know how we can be of service to you – before an emergency occurs.