Christchurch schools have yet again been reminded of the importance of having a communication plan in place for emergencies and natural disasters. Last Wednesday many Christchurch children awoke to see their neighbourhood flooded as a result of excess rain in the region. Upon seeing their street turned into a river many had just one hopeful question for mum and dad – will school be closed?!
Cantabrian schools staff were given the task of notifying parents of whether the school was closed or not in a timely, efficient manner. This would have been impossible to achieve without a dependable communication plan to put into action and as a result their phone systems would have also been flooded – with parents ringing to find out about school closures.
Make sure your communication plan has the following features:
Having remote access to a contacts list database will allow staff to access contact details immediately, wherever they may be. The easiest way to do this is by having your database accessible online. This way you don’t need to send anyone in to the school to send out a message – you just have to be somewhere with access to the internet.
The ability to send one mass message
An efficient way to notify parents of your school’s closure is to send out one mass notification message to a whole database. Sending an e-mail or text message, rather than having to ring each parent, will save a lot of time and resources.
Delivery reports are confirmations that show when each parent receives the text or e-mail. This will notify school staff of any parent who hasn’t received the message and alert them to take action to contact them by another communication channel.
Parents know the school will contact them
Constantly remind parents that in the event of a school closure, the school will notify them. If parents do not know that they will be contacted by you, many will attempt to ring the school to find out what is happening resulting in the school phone system being inundated with calls and extra stress put on administration staff.