Incident Response

Five Tips for Rapid Communications When an Incident Hits the Water Distribution System

Someone working in the water industry holds a hard hat.From natural disasters to oil and chemical spills to terrorist attacks to cyberattacks, water distribution systems have to be prepared for a variety of challenges that could contaminate or disrupt the water supply. When a crisis hits, a strong water supply emergency response plan makes sure that stakeholders can make rapid and effective decisions that will minimize the damage and resume operations as quickly as possible. At the core of any successful emergency response is communication—coordinating quickly with other stakeholders for the best possible outcomes. But how can you make your communication strategy A-grade? Here are some tips.

 

  1. Make sure your communications can reach different devices

The stakeholders you’re communicating with—from your team, to first responders, to consumers—likely rely on different devices for their communication. Making sure you can reach them on their device of choice, whether that’s a phone, tablet, laptop, or desktop, means that you’ll be able to reach them quickly, wherever they are.

 

  1. Automate your communications,

Sharing key information about the crisis with different stakeholders is important but can also take time away from the emergency team focusing on tasks at hand. Automating certain communications—like updates to consumers—makes it easy to share information without disrupting your team’s response.

 

  1. Allow two-way communications.

Strong communications is not only about sharing information—it’s also about exchanging it. Rather than simply broadcasting critical information to stakeholders, it’s important to have a venue for them to respond to you—sharing information with you that you might need to know and building trust.

 

  1. Organize stakeholders by groups and teams

During a crisis, you communicate with a variety of stakeholders—from your emergency response team, to first responders, to government agencies to consumers, just to name a few. Different stakeholders need to know different information. By organizing the stakeholders into groups, you can easily streamline conversations and share relevant information.

 

  1. Use alerts for emergency communications

During an emergency, you want to make sure your recipients receive the information you’re sending. Sending repeated alerts to their device after you send information makes sure that they receive it as quickly as possible.

 

When it comes to communications, Vaporstream works closely with organizations to make sure they can communicate as easily and quickly as possible during an emergency. The Vaporstream platform allows you to send messages to multiple devices. Using Vaporstream you can automate messages, communicate through group conversations and even share information securely when your network is breached or down. See what we look like in action here.

Contributor: The Vaporstream Team