WTF Is an Emergency Communication Plan?

WTF Is an Emergency Communication Plan?

When you imagine a disaster, is your whole family with you? It would probably be ideal to be together, but think about how many hours of the average day your family spends apart. Odds are good that disaster will strike at an inopportune moment. (Not that there is an opportune moment for a disaster!)

Imagine there’s an emergency and you’re scrambling to connect with first responders, support teams, and your loved ones. Would you know what to do?

how to create an emergency communication plan - Good communication can make all the difference between being saved, surviving, or succumbing to the disaster

Communication methods have advanced wildly in the last 20 years; however, when catastrophes strike, modern means of communication often become inaccessible. 

  • Power outages leave you unable to connect to the Internet.
  • Network jamming prevents phone calls.
  • Dead phone batteries/broken devices limit your access to your contacts.

Snapchat can’t save you now, fam. Getting your message across to the right people becomes tough, if not entirely impossible. You could easily get stuck without any idea of what to do next, and no clue where your family is, let alone how to reach them.

That’s why you need an emergency communication plan. 

You might be thinking, “The government will take care of that, right? It’s their job to help me connect with my family and keep us safe during an emergency, isn’t it?!”

Technically? Yes. 

Government bodies (and even many businesses) have emergency communication plans. And these plans definitely help.

But practically?

It’s better to use their Plan A as your Plan B. You’re going to want your own Plan A. During a disaster, the authorities have too much on their plate to be able to serve everyone in a timely manner, and time might be against you.

Daydream a little more with me:

  • Your house is just a little bit on fire.
  • A pipe breaks and floods your place.
  • The old oak in your garden fails to survive the strong winds, falls off, and breaks your roof.

During your personal disasters, it might be unreasonable to expect authorities to help you get in touch with your family. Imagine asking a firefighter if they know your daughter’s phone number and tell me that sounds like fun. Even if they’re small problems in the big scheme of things, your personal emergencies are still emergencies, and they demand prompt communication. 

This alone is enough reason for you to make a plan for emergency communication with your family. 

A family emergency communication plan can save lives and eliminate anxiety in so many situations. For example, during the upcoming US civil war (Civil War Part 2: Electric Boogaloo), you will be very happy to have a laminated list of phone numbers when you are behind enemy lines at the Whole Foods on the wrong side of town.

how to create an emergency communication plan - Situations when you need a family emergency communication plan: war/civil attack, cyclone/tornado, floods, earthquake, volcanic eruption, house fire, thunderstorm, broken pipes/faucets

Ready to create your own emergency communication plan? Here’s the 3-step process:

how to create an emergency communication plan. 1. gather information, 2. draft and share the plan, 3. practice the plan

That might look simple. But the reason you don’t have one yet is because it takes some effort! Deciding what to include can be confusing, but we’ve made it easy with a step-by-step guide that you can follow to a T.

Check out our guide to creating an emergency communication plan. Get prepped and I’ll see you at Whole Foods, comrade!

Dog on the phone with a pen and notebook GIF
Get your serious sweater on, get your numbers, and get to work.

About the Author

Writer, editor, and professional joker with an environmental science background. Like most trivia nerds, she's an ardent admirer of Only Connect competitors, but more at home on the QI field.

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