Emergency Response - Business Continuity

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Contributor Info
Reference Groups Business Continuity, Emergency Response
Additional Contributors Eileen Culleton

The Business Continuity Reference Group will be managing the development of content for this section and will be a point of contact for questions or help.

If you aleady have guidelines on using social media for business continuity, please advise the Reference Group so we can adapt them to develop generic policies and procedures guidelines for use by everyone. Also, (if you have permission), please link to them in "Examples'.


Contents

Communicating with your workforce and creating a temporary workforce

Yammer

Yammer is a "Facebook for business" which can be an invaluable tool to maintain communication with staff during an emergency.

Key Tips

  • Use to undertake 'roll calls' to enable staff to check in that they made it home safe
  • Use to activate groups of key staff that need to collaborate directly during an emergency
  • Use to activate external networks with whom you need to collaborate (eg suppliers, vendors)*
  • Post important links, photos and videos to share with groups or the entire organisation
  • Post files to share with key groups
  • Use 'Question' function to post questions to inform your situation reports eg buildings damaged, roads closed etc
  • Encourage staff to post photos and video with their messages to inform the rest of the organisation of the situation on the ground
  • Integrate important Twitter updates by using #yam to ensure staff receive key information
  • Use as email when networks are down
  • Post updates by email on Yammer to ensure isolated staff receive the same email messages as the rest of the organisation
  • Post updates by email to groups or individual employees or group members

Preparation Tips (during business as usual)

  • Implement Yammer and train staff how to use the tool before a crisis (including policies and guidelines for appropriate use)
  • Incorporate into staff induction, emergency training etc
  • Download the mobile applications onto corporate mobile phones and tablets (eg Ipad).
  • Encourage staff to download the mobile applications onto their personal phones, this way they can receive important information and updates
  • Establish groups for key staff that need to collaborate directly during an emergency
  • Establish groups for 'roll calls' to enable staff to check in that they made it home safe
  • Establish external networks to enable collaboration with other government agencies

Skype

Key tips

  • Use for virtual meetings with staff who are isolated
  • Use for virtual meetings with other organisations/suppliers etc
  • Use to share links and send messages.
  • Hold Skype meetings during 'business as usual'
  • Download the mobile applications onto corporate mobile phones and tablets (eg Ipad)

Video on how to use Skype for business

Google Plus

Key tips

  • Use for virtual meetings with staff who are isolated
  • Use for virtual collaboration across agencies
  • Use to share links and send messages
  • Setup your "Circles" beforehand and start sharing information
  • Hold a "Hangout" meeting during 'business as usual'

Learn more about how to use Google Plus: Circles, Sharing and Hangouts

Google Docs

Key Tips

  • Use to collaborate virtually in real time on documents
  • Anyone anywhere with an internet connection can access (you can also restrict access)
  • Use for virtual collaboration across agencies
  • Can be used to aggregate information in real time eg available resources
  • Reduce errors as people can directly enter information from location
  • Increases response times as there is no delay in getting information entered by one person, can be done in real time from location
  • Can be sent as a link via email (or as an attachment), a Tweet, posted on the wall of a Facebook Account, Yammer Account
  • Can embed onto your website

Google Docs include:

  • Word docs
  • Spreadsheets
  • Forms

Example Americorps tracked volunteers using Google Spreadsheets following the Joplin tornado. To view the video and see the case study visit Google Crisis Response Google Crisis Response site

More tips and case studies are available on Google Crisis Response site

For How To Guides visit Get Started With Using Google Docs

Google Fusion Tables

Google Fusion Tables enable organisations to gather, visualize and share data online with employees and other response organizations and constituents.

Key Tips:

  • Visualize your data from shelter lists to power outages instantly as a map or a chart.
  • Identify data patterns to aid in crisis decision making
  • Show the world your work in real time by embedding your map or chart in a web page
  • Collaborate with other responders by merging your data, allowing you to see all important related information in one place


Examples on the Google Crisis Response site include:

  • Map of the London riots showing English indices of deprivation and riot locations
  • Map of Japanese Tsunami road status

See the Google Crisis Response sitefor "How to" guides

Wikis

Key Tips

  • Use to collaborate virtually in real time
  • Anyone anywhere with an internet connection can access (you can also restrict access)
  • Use for virtual collaboration across agencies
  • Can be used to aggregate information in real time eg available resources
  • Reduce errors as people can directly enter information from location
  • Increases response times as there is no delay in getting information entered by one person, can be done in real time from location
  • Can be sent as a link via email (or as an attachment), a Tweet, posted on the wall of a Facebook Account, Yammer Account
  • Can embed onto your website

Maintaining communication with your customers and key stakeholders

Facebook

Key tips

- Use your Facebook page as a ‘one stop shop’ for information and updates

- Link to Emergency Agencies via 'Likes' (see example from the City of Plano in the US)

- List emergency agencies contact details including Facebook and Twitter channels

- Use the Notes Page for Organisation specific information

- Activate your prepared Frequently Asked Questions list with responses (aligned to call centre scripts) and update

- Link to key resources including emergency resources

- Consider adding badges and buttons (yours or an emergency agency) to your own site and encourage the public to add to their site

Live broadcasting

  • Livestream via webstream your media conferences on your Facebook account using a tool such as Livesteam
  • Upload to video sharing sites such as YouTube afterwards


Twitter

Key tips: - State what hours this channel will be monitored eg business hours? 6am - to 10pm and remind everyone when you are signing off for the evening - Link to Terms and Conditions which clearly how you plan to use this channel and to manage expectations eg If you plan to just use Twitter to broadcast information only, state that. Also state whether you will endeavour to reply to individual messages.

- List popular #hashtags (add to them during an emergency) see example of Brisbane City Council

- Post details of your other social media accounts eg Facebook and YouTube



YouTube

Key tips:

- Decide whether you will respond to comments. Most agencies don't(it's a better use of resources to focus on interactions on Twitter and Facebook. Also once you start responding to comments you will need to maintain this)

-'Friend' other emergency agencies - Add emergency information videos to your channel 'favourites' - Link to your site (which contains Terms and Conditions of how you will use YouTube)



Integrated Websites

US European Command site Source: “The December List: Best Uses of Social Media by Public Agencies”, 30 November 30, 2011, IDisaster 2.0 by Kim Stephens, [1]


An integrated community website combines all of the real-time messages of your organisation/agency and other key agencies onto one page, providing a one-stop shop for information.

For example during a disaster, your site could include:

  • Your organisation's Twitter
  • The feed from Emergency Agencies

The Example: The US European Command

1. Make your social media “buttons” present and readily accessible at the top of the homepage;

2. Connect your blog with only a “tease” visible–with a picture;

3. Embed videos on the site;

4. Make it highly “shareable”, providing a way to tweet, +1, and “Like” all of the articles and videos;

5. Feed the website with a stream of real-time content called “News from the Wires”;

6. Position a photo stream somewhere highly visible, such as in the middle of the page;

7. Allow it to be seen in multiple languages (key for a European Command site) by using an application such as Google Translate;

8. Rotate top stories rotate on the homepage for visual interest.

Source: “The December List: Best Uses of Social Media by Public Agencies”, 30 November 30, 2011, IDisaster 2.0 by Kim Stephens, [2]

Google Sites

Google Sites (see Google Crisis Response) can be used to easily create and update a website with critical response information from anywhere at any time. You can display a variety of important information in one place—including forms to collect information, videos of the crisis, photos of the devastation, and maps that illustrate resources. Eg:

  • Create a simple website quickly without having to hire a web developer or know any HTML programming
  • Customize the look and feel of your site to show it’s from your organization
  • Create sub-pages to keep your content organized and easy for viewers to locate
  • Protect your information by keeping your site as private or public as you'd like


Case studies on Google Crisis Response include Save the Children websites

Resources on the site include a Getting Started guide and a video.

Maps

There are a number of mapping tools available for collaboration both inside the organisation, between organisations and with the public. Please see the Mapping tools page


Additional Guidelines by Sector

Government Sector

Community sector

Education Sector

Health Sector

Business Sector

Examples

Case Studies

References and Links

Personal tools