All the safety precautions and procedures in the world are of little use unless they are communicated effectively. As crisis counselors, we routinely advise clients on how leadership should alert key audiences to timely matters such as how often property managers should be communicating with tenants in the event of an emergency.
It was through this lens which we viewed the colossal mistake that occurred in Hawaii on a recent Saturday morning. That’s when 1.4 million residents and 240,000 visitors were mistakenly alerted via their cellphones of an incoming missile attack due to an employee at the state’s emergency managing agency hitting the wrong option on a computer screen. This mishap was only compounded by a string of poor communications and procedures that followed.
While the scale of Hawaii’s crisis was state-wide, here are a few crisis tips we routinely preach in organizational planning that may have helped mitigate the damage and more quickly restored the public’s confidence in their government.