Crisis Communications During Hurricane Sandy

4 Minute Read

It’s been two months since Superstorm Sandy tore across the Caribbean and the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern United States, killing hundreds and causing tens of billions of dollars in damage. In many areas, the real recovery effort has only just become, especially for many small business owners and those who have been forced to relocate homes.

For those in the disaster recovery and crisis response industries, now is the time to begin taking stock of what happened, how the crisis was dealt with, and what can be improved upon in the future. Crisis communication, especially through new technologies, has been a great topic of discussion.

In many parts of New York City, cellular phone service was down for several days after the storm, leaving many residents unable to update their friends and loved ones on their status. For those with internet access, sites like Facebook and Instagram became a meeting point for the sharing of information, photographs, and videos. As Joe Coscarelli writes in New York Magazine, these sites combined to “create another hybrid vortex in which the virtual community experienced the storm both in seclusion and all together.”

For larger-scale organizations, tools like Send Word Now’s automated messaging platform facilitated the rapid dissemination of information, allowing crisis responders communicate quickly and focus on building maintenance and safety.

In November, the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) ran a full-page advertisement in The New York Times thanking companies throughout the region for their efforts immediately after the storm. The companies on the list played a significant role in helping Lower Manhattan recover from the storm and in re-opening the markets as soon as possible. Send Word Now was on that list, and we are very grateful to have been recognized by the NYSE for our efforts in making communication effective, simple, and reliable during times of crisis.