The storms that swept through Texas left many homes and businesses with outages of key services, such as power and water, and sadly some residents died as a result of the devastation of the storms. Our thoughts and sympathies are with all those affected by the storm.
Some businesses have now been able to resume operations, but many others are facing substantial delays before they’ll be able to reopen in full, so communicating with their employees is essential to ensure they are kept safe.
If we look back at the start of the storms, the first thing companies would have needed to do was to ensure the safety of their employees, whether this is to tell them all to return home immediately or to check on their welfare. By sending out a notification to the channels that were available (it stands to reason that desktop computers accessing emails would have been affected by a power outage) and gathering responses from their team, they could ascertain whether people needed help, who was able to provide help and whether the business was in a position to provide help.
If the main company building still had utilities, they could have invited their employees there to stay safe and warm or directed them to a safe place.
The next communication challenge to overcome would be to ensure that employees know whether or not the company is open or trading as normal and therefore expecting them to work. Again, ensuring that the message is sent via channels that are likely to still be accessible such as by push notifications, SMS, or voice. This could be equally important if the company directive is to encourage their employees to shelter wherever they’re safe until services are resumed.
As services start to resume, the communications from the business can start to include information about returning to work, whether they can reopen or not, and to keep employees informed of the plan to resume normal service, to inform them of any ongoing maintenance and to continue to check on their welfare if required.
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