Being Prepared for the ‘Social’ Storm

Lightning Storm
Disaster Preparedness for Social Media Clients

As a company that harrowingly endured last year’s Hurricane Season, a startling realization came to us during those storms. After we boarded up the windows and braced for hurricane after hurricane consuming the state of Florida, we realized that preparation for a disaster goes beyond buying water and canned goods, especially in the digital age. For businesses, communication is always key, but during natural disasters it is exponentially more important.

From Our Point of View

Florida, like the midwest with tornadoes, is always going to have to be ready for the next hurricane; that is an inevitable fact. However, that doesn’t mean work stops, whether for design firms or the mom-and-pop shop that sells baked goods. The work is different, for sure, but the need to communicate through disaster is similar.

With our clients’ businesses (and our own) in mind, we thought it wise to help implement a plan for office and staff safety, but also a digital emergency policy to update and inform clients, customers and concerned citizens on what is happening on the business end of things.

The Forecast

During any type of natural disaster, it is critical for companies to communicate to their clients, customers and community. Even before a disaster strikes, your market public needs to know where to look for information during the response and recovery phases of a storm or other disaster.

Social Media Points to Touch On:

  • Try to post daily to show you are ok. If you are not, that is just as important.
  • Provide important links, when applicable, to additional information and resources.
  • Provide relevant content that meets the needs of your clients, customers and/or community.

Eye of the Storm

A hurricane from space.We can all agree that natural disasters are terrible, but everyone, from friends and family to businesses need to keep some semblance of ‘powering through’ to show hope and the notion of being there, ready to work or help, on the other side.

During disasters, social media provides access to relevant and timely information. If you are a store that closed for the storm, but have minimal damage and are opening to the public soon, you need to share that information. If you run a marketing firm and have lost power for days, the minute that power comes on, you want to alert your clients.

Social media may be the only avenue of communication during disasters when other channels are overwhelmed or off the air. Regardless of the type of emergency, communication lines may be overloaded and cellular networks overwhelmed as too many people attempt to use them to access information. Therefore, it may be a good idea to just have a stock of graphics for such an emergency. You could create ones that say a wealth of information from “We are closed” to “We are safe” or “If you need us during the storm, you can reach us here.”

Other can include:

  • We are okay
  • In case of emergency need contacts
  • Press and publicity
  • Out of office due to emergency
  • Stay tuned for more information
  • One of our representatives will be calling all clients

No Matter the Weather

Communication is one of the fundamental tools of any business. In this global century, many businesses have clients outside of the impact area, and their business is unaffected. Even if they watch the news and know what is happening, by communicating to those clients that you will be in and out of touch for the next two days or four days or a week, it says you care about them no matter what. They will understand and appreciate the constant updates of your preconceived social media disaster plan.

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