Disaster Management

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    Be in position to help your community

    Regardless of whether your organization is a hospital, school, police station, church, or something entirely different, if you serve your community then you can expect them to turn to you for information and guidance in the event of a disaster.

    A bit of preparation can make you one of the greatest resources they have, and, quite literally, save lives. In a recent post on his iamreedsmith blog, social media expert Reed Smith offered this advice that, while aimed at hospitals, applies to nearly every community pillar:

    1. Make sure someone is designated to monitor social as part of your disaster plan. In these cases the most up to date and credible information is coming from those on the ground. Think CNN iReport. People are tweeting, taking pictures/video, and posting on Facebook in realtime. Ask on your social channels for people to submit content to you though an email address or social platform.
    2. Make sure someone at your disaster control post is providing information though the social channels. Many follow your organization online. Make sure you don’t go dark during this time.
    3. Identify and follow official social accounts of news, disaster, and local agencies. This will allow you to repost relevant resources to your online community.

    Assisting your community during difficult times is not only a good thing to do, but a smart business move. The more helpful you are, the more reputation brownie points you gather, but in order to be an effective aid during a crisis you’ve got to have your networking done and the communication channels already established, so get to it!

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    For more resources, see the Free Management Library topic: Crisis Management
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    [Jonathan Bernstein is president of Bernstein Crisis Management, Inc. , an international crisis management consultancy, and author of Keeping the Wolves at Bay – Media Training.]