Videoconferencing

Using Videoconferencing During Natural Disasters for Better Communication

By Lindsey Baine

Hurricanes. Floods. Tornadoes. Earthquakes. The list could go on and on. While no one likes to think about these things, the reality is that they affect us each and every year. They destroy homes and topple businesses, wreaking havoc on our daily lives and routines. And they don’t discriminate between large and small companies, or those who are prepared and those who are not.

The good news in all of this? You can take steps to lessen their impact and move towards a smoother recovery, and videoconferencing can help.

 

Aid Relief Efforts

When disaster strikes, relief organizations are ready to help. Whether national organizations like Red Cross or United Way, local organizations like churches and nonprofits, or government agencies, we’re fortunate to have these support mechanisms in place. Coordinating efforts within and between these groups takes effort, though. Video can support planning meetings in advance of looming disaster, as well as communication from the affected areas to national offices. Unlike voice-only calls, video lets people see damage firsthand, which can help aid workers make faster, more informed decisions.

 

Video can also enable telemedicine care following a disaster. For instance, local telemedicine hubs can connect patients with doctors when there is no hospital nearby, or when that hospital is at capacity. In fact, a recent study found that a regional command center set up at the site of disaster could improve patient outcomes. Telemedicine can also help busy medical professionals with a full patient load call other doctors for triage and specialist consultations.

 

Keep Teams Connected

One of the biggest challenges companies face after a disaster is communication. Often, employees cannot come into the office due to downed power lines, trees, or flooding, and must work from a different location. When this happens, videoconferencing can help them stay connected with colleagues and clients until business resumes as normal.

 

At the same time, human resources (HR) teams can share critical information with their employees about emergency procedures and status updates. HR managers can hold virtual town hall meetings to communicate with large groups, or hold smaller meetings with departments or individuals.

 

Related: 4 Benefits of Enterprise Cloud Video Meetings on the Go

 

Getting Back Down to Business

Disasters affect more than employees; they also affect your customers. With a proper business continuity plan that includes communication procedures, processes, and technologies, you can be sure your company doesn’t miss a beat when interruptions happen. Videoconferencing can help you get back to normal business operations sooner.

 

When considering which technologies can help in the wake of a disaster, look to the cloud. Infrastructure and hardware can easily be wiped out by the effects of nature, such as flooding and wind damage. With cloud-based tools, however, you can protect your investments and stay connected. While we can’t always anticipate disaster, we can take steps to help us prepare. Proper planning can not only provide peace of mind, but it can also help individuals, businesses, and entire communities recover in the wake of natural disasters.

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by Lindsey Baine

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