Superstorm Sandy: Immediate Approaches to Consider

Sandy photo, NASACorporate communicators may be wondering how to support either emergency communications to employees/customers, or humanitarian efforts in the wake of Superstorm Sandy.

Here’s a quick list of top approaches to consider:


  • Conduct “roll-call” with Business Continuity/Risk/Security teams to ensure there is an effort to establish headcount, critical needs and ability to continue operations
    • Non-affected areas should provide senior leadership with information on how they might be able to support
    • Ensure that employees know where to turn for ongoing information – voicemail messages, website, social media, etc.
  • Consider contingencies and work-arounds to support employee situation (with Business Continuity/Risk/Security teams) – including the possibility to gather/operate out of alternate locations
    • Provide support and frequent communications to affected locations/operations, including information about contingencies to restore services
    • If alternate locations are operational, consider using social media and other vehicles to alert customers/consumers and also to set expectations
  • If accurate and appropriate (e.g., critical services): Provide broad reassurance that company will consider the best ways to support short-term service resumption and get business back to normal in the long-term
  • Consider the potential of crime/looting/fraud and work with local authorities to help ensure employee/customer safety
  • Correct misinformation as appropriate
  • If company is faced with death or major injuries: Express sympathy; consider providing grief counseling and employee assistance program support


  • Consider appropriate relief efforts:
    • Involve employees in helping to determine adjustments to make on behalf of customers and communities, including special price breaks/giveaways for a set period of time; a donation of key relief materials; free services, etc.
    • While media is focused on the storm and effects; social media may be the best way to spread information about these efforts
  • Consider if company should conduct philanthropy/humanitarian efforts:
    • If the company is set to endorse a particular charity effort, make sure these are properly vetted – fraud is common
    • Offer employees an opportunity to donate directly to the relief efforts, including a potential company match
    • Also involve employees in efforts to spread the word and engage in community support


This is a very quick and very un-customized list, but I hope it serves as a healthy starting point.

If anyone uses these tips or has questions, please let me know.  Thanks.

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