5 Ways a Communication Strategy Can Protect Employees During Severe Weather

When severe weather strikes, a well-prepared critical communications plan can mean the difference between life and death. Year-round severe weather conditions — including tornadoes, flash floods, wildfires and extreme temperatures — can occur with little notice and escalate quickly.

Below are five ways a communication strategy helps organizations provide an additional layer of protection to employees to enhance duty of care and keep their people safe and informed:

1. Reach the right people at the right time.

Contact groups are an easy way to target individuals with something in common. Whether it’s their call-shift, office location or home location, organizations can alert all recipients within a group when severe weather impacts them. This is especially useful for office closures and updates regarding re-opening.

An even stronger strategy is sending location-based alerts to a targeted group of people located in an area. By using real-time location from mobile devices, employees are alerted when they enter a defined area during a particular time.

The ability to send multimodal alerts is critical to getting your message out. It expands the probability that your employees will receive your communication, especially when you can target their preferred method. Advanced alert systems typically allow message customization when sending alerts on specific devices.

2. Avoid outdated contact information.

Accurate and up-to-date contact information is critical to the success of your communication strategy. Without correct data, organizations can’t reach recipients when it matters most. Yet manually updating contact information is prone to errors and a waste of resources.

Fortunately, there are several ways organizations can keep data up-to-date automatically by integrating their critical communication system to their HR database, or by providing a registration portal for employees to manage and update their own information.

3. Assess employee wellness.

Evaluate the wellness of your employees when severe weather strikes by sending alerts with response options. Recipients can be asked to simply confirm they received a message, if they are safe or whether they need assistance, among many others. Organizations can also establish triggers based on recipient responses that automatically activate an action (send follow-up questions, cascade alerts, send to alternates, etc.)

4. Reach people in their native language.

Recipients must understand alerts clearly—and quickly—in order to take action to stay safe. This is particularly important during an emergency. Your critical communications system should automatically translate message text and allow recipients to select the language in which they prefer to receive alerts on the backend.

5. Provide global weather alerts.

It’s important to enable admins to identify weather events potentially impactful to business continuity needs or employee safety. Once an event is detected, admins can either send an alert to a small group of individuals tasked with making the decision on whether to send out the information to a larger population or use pre-defined rules to automatically send an alert when an event occurs. This keeps admins informed of situations they care about in their specific area and lets the automated rules trigger alerts without manual intervention.

Protect what matters most—Learn more about keeping employees informed and safe when severe weather strikes.


OnSolve® proactively mitigates physical threats, allowing organizations to remain agile when a crisis strikes. Using trusted expertise and reliable AI-powered risk intelligence, critical communications and incident management technology, the OnSolve Platform allows organizations to detect, anticipate and mitigate physical threats that impact their people and operations.