Flood on de Main Road? Yes Communicator You have a Role

Flood on de Main Road is more than a popular Trinidadian rapso by Ataklan about excuses for inability to travel in and around Trinidad and Tobago due to “flooding” – it is a sad reality in Trinidad and Tobago. While flooding is commonly used as an “untruth” to get out of doing necessary tasks in rainy season in Trinidad, the communicator has a role in flood preparation. Not sure? Read below:

Flood on de Main Road in T&T

1. Link up with the Office of Disaster Preparedness: Regardless of the name of your island nation, there is an Office of Disaster Preparedness. Do a Google search and use the results ask to be added to their email list. Follow them on Twitter (T&T link) and Facebook .In Trinidad we’re on both! Kudos to their team!

2. Follow international and local news services to keep abreast of information as it is made public. Share only information that has been ratified and obtained from the most credible sources. Don’t assume because “its on TV” it is true. When it comes to emergency warning, it is important to avoid sensationalism and to share reports VERBATIM where possible to avoid bias.

3. Have a communication plan ratified by your CEO and management team. You don’t want the flood warning to happen and the person required to sign off on the all staff communication is in a meeting. Plan and Prepare people – have a system approved in advance.

4. Have  a system established for communicating with staff members that may not be “in front of” their computers or logged on. A text messaging programme would be the best way to reach team members that may be on the move or not connected to internal communication system. Don’t forget you can also communicate WITHOUT being attached to your chair  – a walk around helps!

5. Have a plan for AFTER the floods. Will your company help staff affected? What is the leave policy? What can STAFF Do outside of policy to assist? What about assisting communities? What insurance does the company have for employee volunteers?

Seems like a lot of questions? Yes it is. Answer them before there’s a flood or else your communication professional reputation will be swept out with the dirty water.



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One Response to “Flood on de Main Road? Yes Communicator You have a Role”

  1. Kevin Says:

    Another issue in a severe weather situation when you have a front providing service to the public in general is the question of arrangements for early closures, or policies behind the implementation of a skeletal staff to keep the office open and provide such essential services that are required. When is it appropriate to have a skeletal staff, how do you determine who is selected to remain, clearly in a hurricane situation, you would not have a person living in Penal on the skeletal staff for the office in Port of Spain. When do you just authorise the closure of the office altogether, what are the powers that the different managers have with respect to implementing a skeletal staff or indeed authorising the closure of his or her section.

    Putting these things in place is not only critical in your corporate safety plan, but, when communicated effectively with the staff, will go a long way in showing that they are respected and cared for by the organisation and also in making things run smoother and avoiding uncertainty when these situations do arrive as they inevitably do every year.

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