In Business Continuity Awareness Week #BCAW2013, in this era of social media, it is important to ask the question “Is your organisation Emergency 2.0 Resilient?” Do you know how to use social media to help your organisation, employees and stakeholders prepare for, respond to and recover from emergencies?
We invite you to consider this scenario and ask yourself “is this how my organisation would respond?”
A major emergency or disaster has struck your community and there is widespread damage… roads are cut and communications infrastructure is impacted with congested telephone lines and mobile networks and key emergency websites crashing due to load.
An ‘emergency 2.0 resilient’ organisation will respond by deploying its business continuity plan which has social media integrated throughout to ensure an ongoing flow of information and two way communication with employees, customers, suppliers, emergency agencies, the media and other key stakeholders.
Employees immediately access social media sites at work to obtain real-time emergency information and online maps to enable them to plan a safe route home, to pick up the kids from school or to head to evacuation centres. Once in a safe place, they make contact and stay in touch via the organisation’s internal social media network (eg Yammer).
Senior Management, business continuity and communications teams monitor the emergency in real time via emergency services updates on Twitter and Facebook (including live press conferences via Livestream). They also use social media aggregator tools such as Trendsmap to zero-in on tweets in specific impacted locations.
Employees from branches in other impacted areas are taking photos and videos of the damage to the offices on their mobile devices and posting it on the internal social enterprise network to share with the organisation.
A temporary remote workforce for business critical functions is established using phone, text, social media and the organisation’s internal social network. Staff are accessing Yammer messages via the app on their mobile phones. Virtual meetings are conducted with key staff who can’t get to work using social media channels. They collaborate virtually online using realtime documents such as Google word documents, spreadsheets and maps.
Customers, suppliers and other stakeholders including the media are kept informed and engaged via regular updates on the organisation’s social network sites as well as the website which incorporates the social media feeds on the home page.Senior Management and the communications team are also monitoring what is being said to the organisation on social networks and are quickly responding to frequently asked questions. They are also monitoring what is being said about the organisation and any rumours or misinformation is quickly corrected and quashed via social media channels.
The organisation supports its local community to recover by posting offers to donate goods and services on online community crowdmaps and billboards.
It also utilises its social media channels to rally its stakeholders to also help.
— Crisis Mappers (@CrisisMappers) November 1, 2012
We could go on with this scenario, but assume you’ve got the picture. Is this how your organisation would respond in a major emergency? Is your organisation emergency 2.0 resilient?
If you aren’t, the good news is that you can be! The Emergency 2.0 Wiki, in collaboration with our alliance partner the Business Continuity Institute of Australasia have developed tips and guidelines on the Wiki to help your organisation to use social media in each stage of an emergency:
Free Webinars coming soon on YouTube…
In addition to the Wiki guidelines, we aim to create and post webinars on YouTube to be freely available to all. As a volunteer driven not for profit charity we need funding to enable us to do this, so if you have ideas on how we could access funding/sponsorship for this vital initiative please contact us.
Join the Emergency 2.0 Wiki Community
To keep up to date on the latest trends and technological developments in using social media for business continuity and resilience, you are welcome to join the Emergency 2.0 Wiki community by following us on Twitter @emergency20wiki and we also invite you to join the Emergency 2.0 Wiki LinkedIn Group. We’d also love you to share your feedback, news, tips and ideas.
We can’t stop disasters from happening, but together we can make our organisations Emergency 2.0 Resilient!
Eileen Culleton, Founder & CEO (voluntary)