Critical Communications, Severe Weather

Free Emergency Communication Templates for Hurricane Season

By Sarah Perry

Though the yearly hurricane predictions vary, one thing is certain: you need to be prepared to communicate, whether we see two named storms or fifteen. Start by using these automated message templates for your organization’s critical communications system.

Using Hurricane Alert Message Templates

When using message templates, there are a few basic guidelines to follow. Start by keeping the message length to a minimum. This ensures recipients can get the most information in the least amount of time. In addition, SMS messages cannot exceed 918 characters; longer messages are broken up into multiple messages that may create confusion.

By creating message templates prior to severe weather, you can generate detailed and informative alerts for every step in your emergency plan. Then in the wake of a hurricane, these messages are ready to be sent to the right audiences. Recipients receive only those messages that apply to them, which helps to eliminate confusion during a stressful time.

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What to Say Before a Storm Breaks

Long before a hurricane makes landfall, you need to start sending out emergency alerts. These pre-storm warnings are critical to the safety and security of your employees. The following are template messages you can input into your customizable critical communications system:

  • A hurricane has been forecasted to impact [CITY, STATE] on [FORECASTED DATES OF STORM]. Please work with your manager on alternative working arrangements.
  • We are in the path of [STORM NAME]. Stay alert for emergency messages regarding evacuations, office closures and relevant instructions.

The goal at this time is to provide information regarding business continuity. Since you are not sure about the severity of the storm, the preparatory plan should be to keep your business running while protecting your employees.

Communication During a Hurricane

Once a hurricane has hit, the emergency messages you send out to employees will reflect a different goal. If your office is in the line of the storm, chances are you need to keep in contact remotely. In addition, you need to have a plan to provide emergency support for affected employees. Message templates that can be useful during a hurricane include:

  • [NAME OF OFFICE] will remain closed until [DATE, TIME] due to the damage caused by [NAME OF HURRICANE]. Please follow local weather safety alerts to ensure you are protected from severe weather.
  • If you are affected by [NAME OF HURRICANE], please contact [PERSON OF INTEREST] to find out how to receive assistance during this time of need.
  • For the latest updates on the impact of [NAME OF HURRICANE] at [NAME OF OFFICE], check out our company news [LINK TO WEBSITE].

If your business is affected by a hurricane, it’s likely your employees are too.  As such, be sensitive to their situation as you work to continue business functions.  Your consideration and concern can help them recover more quickly.

Post-Storm Recovery Messaging

Even though the hurricane has retreated, the real challenge begins in the recovery process. For your business, your main goal is to resume operations as quickly as possible.  To do this effectively, implement the following message templates into your critical communications system:

  • Due to [NAME OF HURRICANE], our office is closed. Contact [MANAGER OF DEPARTMENT] for information about working remotely and when to return to the office.
  • If you are unable to travel to the office, please contact [MANAGER OR PERSONNEL] to discuss alternative working arrangements.
  • If you require assistance with maintenance, repairs or tech damage in your office, please reach [MAINTENANCE DEPARTMENT] to schedule repairs.

Your mission at this point is to provide services to resume productivity. However, you must remain empathetic to the needs of your employees who may have suffered serious losses both professionally and personally. Fortunately, you can do both with the use of message alerts this hurricane season.

Want more expert guidance on hurricane preparedness and messaging? Visit our Hurricane Preparedness Resource Center and take your communications to the next level.