During an emergency, it is imperative that those within your organization know how to communicate effectively. This includes both internal and external communications.
The following checklist will highlight some recommendations for developing and executing a well-rounded communications strategy in the face of any disaster scenario.
Developing Your Communications Plan
Start with a General Risk Assessment:
- Identify the top threats to your organization and any vulnerabilities.
- Analyze what business functions are critical to your operations.
- Identify the resources needed to protect those critical business functions.
- People, Processes, Technology required and Communications Needs associated with each.
Develop and regularly update an Emergency Contact List to include:
- Home Phone
- Alternate Mobile
- Personal E-mail
- Family Contact Information
- Evacuation Plan
Establish a Crisis Management Team, and those within that group responsible for Communications.
Set up an Alert Notification System capable of multiple means of communication to employees, stakeholders & clients. TEST regularly.
Ensure that employee, vendor & supplier mobile voice communications are not reliant on a single network. Utilize multiple carriers and train all critical personnel on the use of text messaging.
Establish a separate, formal notification plan for employees' immediate families and close relatives in the event of loss of life, missing personnel, etc. Additionally, ensure that caregivers, day care operators and others upon whom employees may depend for family member support can receive appropriate information.
Ensure that a formal system exists to integrate new hires into the Crisis Communications Plan.
Consider establishing a public hot line, or a "dark" Website that can be activated on short notice to provide information during an emergency to everyone in the community.
Consider an Online Social Networking Platform for web-based crisis communications (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.)
Establish a universally available and easily accessible database of information about the company in case of emergency to include company background information, critical documents, key contacts, passwords, etc.
Consider setting up a password-protected online message board specific to your organization.
Establish remote hosting for your corporate website.
- Ensure proper bandwidth capability for spikes in traffic during crises.
- Ensure remote access to your website, and establish a team to manage updates to the site during disasters.
Download this checklist for more tips on creating your crisis communication plan.