5 Steps to Effective Emergency Communication
1. Know what is at stake
Once you notice an emergency situation, the first thing you must do is to do a quick appreciation of the situation to determine what is at stake? This means the lives at stake, property and the environment. If any of this is stake, you need to act.
2. Who must be informed
Once you know what is at stake, it is important to inform the relevant stakeholders. For smaller incidents, only the internal audiences should be informed, meanwhile for larger and more complex incidents, external audiences must also be informed.
3. What response do you expect?
Besides informing the stakeholders, those in harm ‘s way must be notified or alerted about the impending danger. Such a message must clearly state what they are expected to do to be safe.
4. Craft a timely message
A timely message is one that reaches the recipients in time for them to take action and be able to avoid the impact of an on-coming disaster. If the rainstorm is expected in two hours, the recipients must receive the information in time to escape before the storm.
5. Manage expectations
An emergency message must not cause panic (over reaction) or denial (under reaction). Ideally, the message should be calibrated in such a way that expectations are moderated not to cause mass fear or denial.