5 ways of communicating during an emergency

Emergency communication has never been more useful. As the world gets more unpredictable, it has become essential to communicate efficiently. As disasters and emergencies become more destructive, all must learn communication ways that can reduce the impact of adversities. Indeed good communication is the best tool at disposal here for managing crises. That is why we have compiled 5 best strategies for you to cope well in emergencies.

  1. Making the message clear and concise

In emergencies, there is already so much going on. So it is best to use a few words to communicate so that it doesn’t lead to information overload. In chaotic situations, the choice of word is also important as the size because the message needs to be very clear. There are high chances of getting misunderstood. And as the message is usually for the masses, jargons should be avoided. Moreover, it should be understood that time is crucial, so it should not be wasted to mince words or make use of impressive vernacular. It is necessary to present info with simplicity and clarity, and this can be learned through an emergency management degree. The situation should be outlined by highlighting only the necessary information, and the essential actions needed for mitigation. The communication should be minimalistic and should contain commonly known names to make it comprehensible for all and sundry.

  1. Use a Consistent Method

It is not only the clarity of the message, which is important. The consistency of the communication method is equally important. It helps to ensure that everyone knows what to expect. They should know how and when the message will be delivered. All the attendees should be on the same page and have knowledge of the standard procedures uses. This creates predictable and helps people to remain calm. Furthermore, in most emergency cases, there will be a flow of information coming from different sources, and if they all differ, it can aggravate the situation. To prevent the crises from worsening, it is helpful to standardize the communicating methods. The identical messages will create consistency and all information presented will hold one voice. This, in turn, will help to avoid misinformation and reduce the chances of miscommunication. It will ensure certainty and reduce chances of pitfalls.

  1. Timeliness

The third aspect of communication trifecta is timeliness. Along with clarity and consistency, emergency messages need to be delivered on time, or they become useless. Awareness of time is crucial in crisis as every second count. The right message has to be delivered at the right time to make it count. If too much time is wasted without any updates, or recurring info, it can aggravate chaos. Also, late communication tends to demotivate as well as people begin to lose hope. Furthermore, it can also cause miscommunication as time lags can lead to a rise in incorrect assumptions. Even if there is nothing to communicate at least a reassurance message should be given on a timely basis to promote trust. The messages should also be repeated to lessen room for confusion. As people are usually disoriented during emergencies, they have to be communicated with timely as well as repeatedly so that the message sinks in. Lastly, it is advised to communicate openly as soon as possible and sharing incoming info immediately so that the possibilities of misinformation are spurred. The key is to keep people calm; so by giving them timely and up to date messages, they will be pacified as they will have a timeline to adhere to.

  1. Identify and Use Appropriate Social Media Platform

Even if the messages are timely, consistent and clear, they will be of no use if they are not delivered through proper communication channels. While old school methods include radio and TV are effective, there is another resource which has become even more useful. With the advent of social media, it is the networking platforms that have become effective for dissipating immediate information. This is proven by the survey conducted by Pew Research Center in 2016, which shows that 62 percent of adults check new through social media outlets. So like everything emergency communication also needs to adapt with the time and utilize the power of social media in their favor. To communicate with masses, it is best to use the resources which are there a major source of information. Thus for effective communication in a crisis, making use of social media systems can be quite helpful. Emergency presence can be widely spread, and engagement can be gained instantaneously online. So with their wide use and immediate updating, social networking sites can be conducive for communicating in emergencies.

  1. Select the Most Updated Level of Communication

Lastly, it is essential to ensure that methods used not only are clear, consistent, and timely are also updated to meet with the changing requirements. Not only do theses messaging methods need to be maintained, but they need to be altered in a timely fashion so that they adapt according to present-day emergencies. For example, present-day emergencies are far more complex to handle. But with increasing technological development, they can be handled immediately if communication methods are changed accordingly. So methods such as Emergency Alert System (EAS), AMBER Alert should be utilized. To be appropriate, communication methods should also have required accessibility and reliability. For these purposes, improvements and monitoring need to be done on a constant basis!

Conclusion

So these are the ways of communication that help to navigate panic and confusion in emergencies. They ensure that information spreads in a timely and diligent manner so that everyone is well informed at all times through the right platforms. They help to maintain calmness in chaos and are crucial for effective communication. Use them well, and you will certainly feel a positive change while in crisis!

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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