Floods and earthquakes – as well as wildfires that too often plague the Southwest – are a very real reminder of how the unexpected can impact not only communities, but also the businesses in those communities.
Planning for emergency communication should be done before a crisis happens, and it is important to take the time to ensure you and the business are well prepared.
Start by putting together a personal emergency communications plan:
- Keep smartphones, tablets, laptops, extra wireless batteries, chargers and other equipment in an accessible location. It is a good idea to keep them in a sealable, plastic bag during disasters.
- Maintain a list of emergency phone numbers – police, fire and rescue agencies; power companies; insurance providers and program them into your wireless devices.
- Develop a systematic evacuation and communications program that includes what to do, who calls whom, and where to meet up.
Whether a small business, a large enterprise or a government agency, the right emergency communications plan and tools can help an organization stay up and running through a crisis.
Look for solutions and applications that will keep the company connected to the Internet and any data networks that might be in use, even if the power goes out and the office is closed. In fact, plan for the power to be out and the office to be inaccessible!
Talk to a wireless carrier about options for smartphones, tablets and netbooks, portable Wi-Fi devices and broadband modems and cards. Consider back-up routers along with mobile applications like navigation and fleet management systems. Prepare to use broadcast text messaging to stay in touch with employees or key customers.
In choosing a carrier, research track records for dependability and network reliability during emergencies. In the middle of the crisis is not the time to learn that the carrier is a fair weather friend who locks the doors when needed most.
Reputations are made or broken when disaster strikes. Be ready to call, e-mail and maintain online communications with employees and customers. Experience says it will most definitely set a company apart from its competition. When an emergency plan is desperately needed, it’s usually too late to make one. So why not think about it now to stay connected when it matters most?