With so many senior living communities along the East Coast impacted in some manner by Hurricane Sandy, this is a good time to remind everyone why it’s critical to have in place a comprehensive disaster plan and clear communications plan that you can implement at a moment’s notice.
This particular storm is predicted to cause widespread flooding, power outages and wind damage. Those who are in the Operations department of senior living communities no doubt have back-up emergency generators for power, ample supplies of food and water, and safe zones to ensure their residents and employees remain unharmed.
There are those who want to know that information. So how are you letting them know? There are family members and friends in other parts of the country who will want to know their loved ones are safe and secure. Do you have a place on your community website to let them know that everyone is safe and sound?
Many businesses have a “dark page” on their website that can be switched on if they need to share information in emergencies. While the East Coast may experience hurricanes, other parts of the country may face earthquakes, tornadoes or wildfires.
Beyond your website, don’t overlook the value of Twitter and Facebook … these social media channels are a smart way to spread the word about resident and employee safety. I did read one very good Facebook message from a community, letting their followers know their disaster plan was in full operation and that life at their community was as normal as can be expected at this time.
We certainly hope and pray this storm passes and those affected remain unharmed. The fear of the unknown can be daunting for family and friends. That’s why communication and updates are so vital in times like these.