Step 4: Build Your Team — Phone Trees Are The Bees Knees
September 26, 2014
When working with your team, your leaders and other participants in your neighborhood disaster planning process, it’s very important to have some sort of communications system in place, a way for neighbors to inform other neighbors of key updates, directions or instructions during a disaster. A phone tree is one great way to do this.
A phone tree has a list of people, with their phone numbers, full contact information, etc., organized in such a way to facilitate a chain of calls in an emergency. One person calls a designated small group of people, who then contact a group of others going down the list, and so on. News is relayed on a much more efficient manner, and everyone gets updates, leaving no one out.
Do you remember the detailed map we worked on in Step 3: Scout Your Area? Let’s pull that out again. Make sure you have the following for each household/facility:
- Phone, email, text
- Special skills, resources
- Number of adults/children/animals/persons with special needs or require additional assistance
Now, use the contact information to create a phone tree. Ask meeting participants if they would like to serve a key function in the phone tree, i.e., those people who would get the first calls and then would call designated groups of people to pass along news and updates.
In the event of an emergency, accurate and timely communication is crucial. Thanks in advance for creating a workable communications system for your neighborhood.