The National Hurricane Center will release its preliminary predictions before the start of the season on June 1, but early indications are that the 2024 season will be active. This is largely because of La Nina and record warm water temperatures in the Atlantic basin, which includes the Gulf of Mexico, the northern Atlantic and Caribbean Sea.

As we enter Spring 2024, it's a good time to assess your organization's emergency mass notification plans; preparedness is the best way to mitigate any storm-related losses. Create a process that extends timely, efficient mass notifications—from before a storm is detected all the way through recovery efforts.

Before a Storm

Content Provided By OnSolveEven an average hurricane season has enormous potential for damage. Evaluate your organization's preparedness before a hurricane strikes; create a plan if you don’t have one. Your hurricane preparedness plan should include a mass notification system (MNS) that lets you quickly send alerts via automated phone messages, emails and text. Prepare templates that are ready to go for each type of alert. Pre-storm activities include training and drills so employees are familiar with your hurricane communications plan. Practice minimizes confusion. Employees will know they can trust your alerts to provide clear, useful information at every phase of a storm.

When a Hurricane is Detected

When you use a mass notification system for emergency alerts, you’ll have an edge during every phase of a hurricane. You can inform employees and stakeholders from the moment a hurricane is detected and easily keep them apprised of its progress. You can help them prepare, reminding them of your organization’s policies if a hurricane strikes.

When a Watch is Issued

If hurricane conditions escalate, your next step is responding to a hurricane watch, which indicates that hurricane conditions are possible. Waste no time activating your plan. Send alerts about the hurricane’s expected impact, including expected flood levels. Prepare your facility and remind employees about your hurricane evacuation plan and crucial next steps, such as preparing their homes.

When a Warning is Issued

A hurricane warning means that you can expect hurricane conditions. At this point, share regular alerts about the storm’s progression, including tailored messages about the time your business will close its doors. Clear, reliable communication at this point sets the tone for your entire response and shows that you care about the safety and security of your employees.

During the Storm

Effective communication during a hurricane strengthens business continuity. A mass notification system permits you to track employees who have evacuated. You can also provide critical information such as power outage updates and shelter information for your employees and their pets.

You’ll also want to share updates on your business operations – you might have remote employees who need to know what actions they should take, if any. Continuing business functions, at any level, is key during a storm, but you must also be sensitive to the hurricane’s effects on your workforce. A hurricane can wreak profound devastation on employees’ personal and professional lives. Communication helps you maintain both continuity and compassion.

After the Storm

After a hurricane, alert employees and stakeholders about when and to what degree operations will resume. Remain sympathetic to the storm’s effects by providing alternative working arrangements, for instance. You can bolster recovery efforts with alerts about re-entry to neighborhoods, debris clean-up efforts and restoration activities. When your organization is up and running again, evaluate how well your hurricane communications plan worked and note any updates or revisions that can improve your plan going forward.

Start Preparing Today

While a hurricane can be considerably challenging, you can help mitigate its effects on your organization by putting effective communication plans in place now. Download your Hurricane Preparedness Kit today.