Emotions can run high when a storm is approaching, and rightfully so. A major hurricane or storm event can be life threatening. Being prepared on the communications front is imperative to keeping your community connected and informed.
Nextdoor Emergency Alerts
Nextdoor has launched a useful tool to help communicators quickly share emergency alerts. Exactly as it sounds, these alerts are a type of post that instantaneously notify neighbors (Nextdoor’s version of followers) immediately via email and in-app notifications. Using the emergency alerts option is ideal when critical information, like boil water notices or flooding alerts,, needs to be sent out immediately.
Satellite Radio Station
If you don’t have a large following on social media, sharing emergency information and updates via radio may be a good fit for your community. There are two ways to get started with radio- by securing a designated AM/FM station, or with an online radio station.
To create an AM, FM, or LPFM (low power FM) station, you will need to submit an application and receive approval from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), though this process can be both time-consuming and costly.
If you’re looking for a quicker and more cost-effective option, creating an online radio station through platforms like Live365, Radio.co, and TuneIn, may be ideal, but they do rely on a stable internet connection.
When emergencies happen, every second counts. That’s why many of the municipalities we work with have CodeRED in their toolbox. CodeRED comes into play, especially when internet connection is unreliable. The service works by sending out messages via SMS text, phone calls, and through its mobile app to registered users.
When updated regularly, websites serve as a one-stop shop for emergency information. Say a resident just moved to the area and they don’t know where to find information about storm shelters or how to prepare for a hurricane. Chances are, they’re headed to the city’s website first. By using features like alerts and homepage news stories, residents can easily, and quickly, access the information they need to stay safe and prepared.
Federal Emergency Managements Agency’s (FEMA) Public Information Officer (PIO) Training
FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute (EMI) courses for PIOs are all about learning how to get the right message to the right people at the right time. This training program provides PIOs with the essential skillset to effectively communicate with other agencies and their community during an emergency. Whether you’re new to your role as a PIO or you’ve been one your entire career, these trainings are full of tips and reminders on how to best reach your community.
Fun fact- two members of our Conceptual Communications team are FEMA PIO certified!