Incident Response

Business Continuity, Communication and Natural Disasters – What You Should Know

Business responds with business continuity plan during natural disaster.

With severe weather becoming the norm across the world, businesses in the United States are faced with the challenge of continuing to operate if a disaster strikes. In 2018 alone, 11 weather and climate-related disasters  struck within our borders – so it’s not a surprise that severe and extreme weather events are a leading concern for businesses when It comes to emergency communications, response and business continuity. Downtime is costly —a 2016 survey found it can range from $600 to $17,000 a minute—so you must do whatever it takes to ensure that your business continuity plans are up to par. As the oil and gas industry’s response to hurricane Harvey in 2017 showed, strong communication sits at the core of any successful business continuity plan. Here’s what you should know when it comes to communicating efficiently and ensuring business continuity during a natural disaster:

The People You Need to Contact are Never in One Place

A key challenge of business continuity is to ensure that you can reach all employees – including the ones that are geographically-dispersed. When it comes to event notifications and keeping everyone in the loop during a crisis, you must have a system in place to quickly contact your employees, stakeholders etc.  and ensure communications are ongoing—regardless of their locations.

Device Preferences Cannot Matter

Different people like and rely on different devices as their primary means of communication—while some people check their text messages first, others might rely on their phone or an  email. During a natural disaster, however, all bets are off and you cannot rely on any one manner of communication. A strong business continuity plan will account for the diversity of communication means and methods and have tools in place to reach people through multiple digital channels that help ensure the likelihood that people are reached.

Communication Must Be a Two-Way Street

When communicating during a disaster, it’s important to ensure that information is actually reaching your recipients  and that they can easily respond. Read receipts and escalated messaging are a key component of real time acknowledgments available as part of the initial event notification. Unlike one-way notification systems, this keeps everyone on your staff in sync, ensures information is reaching the right people, and that business operations can continue as required. 

There is a Right Tool for Communications and Business Continuity

The right tools can make all the difference when communicating for business continuity during a natural disaster. Using Vaporstream’s secure communication platform, businesses can communicate with employees from anywhere, using a variety of channels—from secure messages to email to standard SMS text to voice.  To learn how we can help you keep your staff and your business safe and still communicating during a crisis of any kind, watch our video here.

Contributor: The Vaporstream Team