Talk About the Weather

Severe WeatherSevere weather such as floods, snowstorms, hurricanes, high winds, heat waves and tornadoes can all wreak havoc – halting business, prohibiting travel and endangering lives. Using your mass notification system to remind citizens about personal preparedness is a great way to reach out to a community before, during and after a weather-related crisis. You can stress the importance of keeping an easily accessible emergency supply kit, staying warm, cool or hydrated, limiting outdoor or strenuous activities and providing the location of crisis centers and evacuation shelters.  Invite residents to check on friends, family, and neighbors. Remind citizens to stay informed by tuning into local media stations, newspapers, and websites for weather updates.

Be prepared in advance by setting up protocols for severe weather notifications to guide citizens, customers, and employees to safe locations, and to mobilize first-responders.

Here are a few tips for using your notification system to keep your alert recipients informed and safe.

1.     Before – Share tips for preparing for a severe weather event.  Provide assurance that you are closely monitoring the situation and are prepared to act. Where appropriate, provide updates on the weather event’s progress. Inform emergency responders and/or 911 operators before your alert is activated so they can respond to the increase in call volume about weather-related issues. Advise first responders to take care of themselves so that they can effectively take care of others too. Coordinate internal resources by polling for availability and confirming team assembly locations.

2.     During – Issue alerts for weather-related closures and cancellations. Provide reassuring communications throughout the weather event with ongoing status updates as the weather event progresses. Reinforce safety precautions and necessary actions. Provide shelter-in-place guidance and/or evacuation instructions. Where available, conduct wellness checks with special needs alert recipients through real-time polling.

3.     After – Issue an all clear alert.  Advise on next steps, including providing re-entry instructions and resumption of normal activities. Coordinate clean-up efforts and confirm volunteer availability.

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