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It's Almost That Time Again...

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Posted in:  
Communications
  on
March 3, 2016

I'm talking severe weather season, my friends! We here in Oklahoma know all too well the fear this time of year brings and the devastation that can occur. While we have no control over when and where severe storms, including tornadoes, can hit, we do have control over our schools' preparedness levels.I know every single one of you has a plan in place for sheltering in the event of a tornado, but does that plan include more than just basic communication with parents? We never want to think that a tornado could hit our own schools, but we have seen it happen time and again to others, and I cannot stress enough how critical it is to have a crisis communication plan in place.You will have a ton of information to convey, and in chaotic situations, people are often unable to think clearly and logically. That is when a carefully thought-out, detailed plan is crucial to have ready to enact.

  • How will you notify parents and community members where to pick up students if a school building is hit?
  • Where will you allow media outlets to set up when they arrive and plan to broadcast for an undetermined amount of time? You may have both local and national outlets show up, depending on the severity of the storm.
  • Who will serve as the spokesperson for your district? 
  • Where will your command center be located for all essential personnel to convene?
  • Without cell reception, how will you communicate?
  • Without network connectivity, how will you update your website and social media accounts?

These are just a few of the questions for which you will need to identify clear answers. If you have not formed a team to do this, there is no better time than NOW. Please contact me, and I can assist you in whatever stage of planning you are currently in.

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About the Author

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Sarah Julian

Director, Communications

Sarah serves as the Director of Communications for the OPSRC. In this role, she will provide support, consultation, and training on communication plans, social media policies, crisis communications, media relations, and website content.

Sarah has dedicated her entire professional career to Oklahoma public education: over 14 years in communications, technology, and teaching college-level English Composition and Humanities. Sarah holds a Master’s degree in Writing & Communications.

Want to learn some fun facts about Sarah? Click here!

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