Wednesday, July 30, 2008, 5:26 PM

What California's earthquake means for your company

After this week's earthquake, Californians aren't the only ones who should be dusting off their emergency plans. Your company should too. Read below to find out why.

Every corner of the country can be impacted by a natural disaster. The West is subject to earthquakes and wildfires; the Midwest bears the brunt of tornadoes and floods; hurricanes and droughts regularly target the South and the East; the list goes on.

Public communications are an important part of any company's emergency plans. There are five immediate communications questions every organization should ask itself:

1. Does the public depend on our product in the event of a disaster? The answer is "yes" for more than just utility companies.

2. How do we communicate with our customers and employees in the event of a disaster?

3. How do we communicate with the press and the public if we provide a vital public service, such as electricity or transportation, and who is our spokesperson?

4. In addition to delivering our product, what can our organization do to help the surrounding community in the event of a disaster?

5. If we provide a vital service, what can we do before a crisis to educate customers, the press, and the public about what to do in an emergency.

Ordinary companies do only what is required of them before, during, and after a crisis. Innovative companies raise the bar when communicating with their stakeholders in an emergency. So, is your company ordinary or innovative?


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