Now that you have evaluated alternative communication methods, it is important to plan how you will communicate with employees, suppliers and customers if a disaster strikes.

Consider setting up a call-in number for employee updates, or plan to use social media systems to stay in touch after a disaster.

Communication methods to evaluate:

  • Create an employee, supplier and customer contact phone tree and establish a clear path of who needs to call whom.

  • Establish an information (incoming only) hotline where company situational awareness information can be assessed by employees, supplier, and/or customers.

  • Emailing is easy, but you may not have access at your business during an emergency. Emailing via VPN may be a workable alternative for your organization to communicate with employees, supplier, and/or customers. And the utilization of your company website is an alternative to making company announcements to employees, supplier, and/or customers.

Lastly, do not forget how you will communicate within your facility if a disaster occurs:

  • If you have an overhead paging system, develop procedures to use it in an emergency. Make sure it reaches all areas of your facility. If you choose to use emergency codes instead of giving information directly, keep them simple.

  • Consider having two-way radios (FRS radios can be a relatively inexpensive option) that can be used to communicate emergency information to people in your facility.

Once you have developed your communication plan, train your employees on the various methods of communication. Include your communication plan in your formal emergency response plan.