In our modern world we take our ability to communicate seamlessly and instantly for granted. We communicate through more services and devices than ever before. Our options are vast: Facebook, Twitter, SMS text messaging, WhatsApp, email, traditional mail, cell phones, and even landline telephones. But what if those channels of communication, or the primary channels we rely upon, are disrupted by a natural or man-made disaster? Is your community association prepared for those circumstances? Do you have primary and secondary lines of communications established in your community association? If you are starting to feel concerned, that’s okay, because many community associations and small businesses are not prepared and do not have procedures in place for maintaining communications during a crisis. But the time to act is now. Implementing a Disaster Communication Plan can dramatically improve a community association’s response and handling of an emergency situation.
What is a Disaster Communication Plan? It’s a set of procedures and guidelines that a community association can use to communicate with residents and other stakeholders in the event of an emergency or other crisis. The plan outlines the methods that the association will use to communicate, the key messages that will be conveyed, and the individuals or groups that will be responsible for communicating.
The goal of a Disaster Communication Plan is to ensure that accurate and timely information is shared with all stakeholders, including employees, residents, and the public, and that communication channels are maintained during and after a crisis event. A Disaster Communication Plan can help ensure that residents and other stakeholders are kept informed during an emergency, minimize confusion and anxiety, and ensure that residents are aware of the steps they should take to stay safe. A Disaster Communication Plan can also be used to provide residents with important information such as evacuation routes, shelter locations, and emergency contact numbers.
Having an established Disaster Communications Plan that an association can follow further ensures that the association is able to effectively coordinate with local authorities and emergency services in the event of a disaster allowing the association to provide authorities with the information they need to respond effectively to the emergency and allowing the association to receive updates and instructions from authorities in a timely manner.
Ultimately, the end goal of implementing a Disaster Communication Plan is to help the community association to maintain continuity of operations, which means that the association can continue to provide essential services to residents even in the aftermath of a disaster.
Want to learn more about disaster preparedness and business continuity planning for community associations? Join John Prisco, Esq., at the 2023 IREM® Tri-State Conference & Expo Feb. 16, 2023, at Caesars Atlantic City where he will be presenting on disaster preparedness and continuity planning for community associations, multi-residential buildings, and commercial properties. For more information click here.