CommunicationRisk Management

Right Communication: The Key to Prepare for Disaster Management

Natural disasters or calamities never give prior information or the time to prepare. Over one-third of small businesses do not plan for natural disasters or severe catastrophes, while larger firms do have business continuity and disaster recovery plans, but do not account accurately for weather-related events.

In this article at Risk Management, Aaron Charlesworth shares some practical ways that can help businesses go a long way towards mitigating damage with careful preparation.

Planning is Crucial

Planning significantly reduces damage to tangible and intangible assets. Planning involves what to do before, during and after a disaster or an emergency situation. Here are a few ways to prepare for natural calamities:

  • Create internal emergency-response teams and specify the roles of each team member.
  • Train employees on technology to mobilize crisis-response teams, alert staff, and suppliers.
  • Implement human resources policies for employee notification, remote work, and accessibility for people with disabilities for both large and small events.
  • Create and distribute shelter-in-place, evacuation, and medical emergency procedures informing employees about how to respond or where to go.
  • Keep a list of contact information for all the employees that include response-team personnel, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) officials, the local Red Cross chapter and local first-responder organizations. Ensure that the right people are acting on the information with adequate skills and authorities to manage.
  • Build and maintain off-site support for business continuity so, that information channels always remain open and function at all times through a SaaS solution.

Clear Communication

After initial planning, the organizations must work towards establishing effective communication to protect their operational, financial, and strategic assets. The author suggests these five ways of doing it:

  • Evaluate and include the use of an emergency mass notification system (EMNS) to warn and update employees and suppliers about business closings and emergency measures.
  • Ensure EMNS can reach users through multiple channels like phone calls, instant messages, desktop alerts, social media posts, mobile apps, SMS, and emails.
  • Ensure two-way communications to ensure the safety of personnel and continuity of operations.
  • Ensure geo-targeting based on severe weather track allowing administrators to choose specific areas they wants to include or exclude from an alert.
  • Conduct periodic testing with different drills for each type of weather conditions. Then, set aside time to assess how effective the response was, and adapt and update your plan accordingly.

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