Effectively relaying information is one of the most important aspects of disaster preparedness, immediate relief, and long-term recovery. The need for timely, reliable, and accurate communication cuts across all areas of disaster response and rebuilding—successful mitigation and community resiliency are dependent upon effective communication networks.
- One of the biggest challenges during and immediately following a disaster is the need for timely and accurate information. This challenge is compounded when electric power lines and cell towers are damaged and inoperable.
- Philanthropic organizations know their communities, and grantmakers have deep and far-reaching connections that include nonprofits, government agencies, policymakers, healthcare institutions, local businesses and chambers of commerce. This is a valuable and powerful network that can be organized and mobilized in a streamlined and efficient manner pre-and post-disaster. Moreover, these industries contain extensive networks and provide an even farther reach into all facets of society.
- It is important to develop a comprehensive local, regional and statewide communications strategy—which also includes local, county and state government agencies—in advance of a disaster.
- It will take considerable time and resources to develop a communications plan, but this investment is critical in order to:
- facilitate the timely flow of relevant information;
- coordinate recovery efforts;
- avoid duplication;
- identify the gaps or those individuals/communities that might be falling through the cracks, and
- maximize efforts to the fullest extent.