Operations

Disaster Communications

Agency communications during a disaster such as a flood, earthquake, prolonged power failure, or 

fire should be guided by a prepared Disaster Communication Plan which is predicated on the agency 

Overarching Disaster Plan. Obviously, preparedness is critical as disasters are by definition 

unexpected and whether specific to the agency (a fire at the headquarters) or more global in nature 

(a regional flood), disasters can and do occur. Important elements to plan for include: keeping 

lines of communication open with families, staff, providers, media, emergency management personnel 

and other important stakeholders; backup contingencies for records and information systems; service 

delivery continuity; and staff/volunteer coordination.

 

Staff members should be encouraged to develop their own individual family emergency plan so each 

can continue to work without undue concern for family safety and well-being. Likewise, the agency 

should prepare and drill for building evacuations and emergency/disaster scenarios with appropriate 

local, state and federal disaster-response partners; identify critical agency tasks and plan for 

continuity including the identification of staff with multiple skill sets available to shoulder 

alternative or additional responsibilities; identify potential alternative work locations and 

alternative communications channels so that communications flow both to and from the agency; 

anticipate volunteer help with prepared task lists; and ensure continuity of service delivery by 

planning or new or alternative service delivery sites and additional services or outreach required 

by families, providers and others

involved.

 






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