As winter begins to show its teeth, it’s important to be ready for whatever Mother Nature throws your way – make sure your healthcare organization is positioned as a trusted resource within your community.
Emergency preparedness though, is important for more reasons than just bad weather. Natural disasters for example, can happen anywhere, but so can disease outbreaks and chemical emergencies. It’s at these times that your community will need you most, giving them the peace of mind to weather the storm.
So how do we accomplish this? Well, depending on where you are located geographically, you’ll first want to figure out which potential disaster is the biggest threat, i.e. tornados, hurricanes, earthquakes, heavy snowfall, influenza outbreaks, industrial accidents, etc. Some of these have a season of activity that puts you at the most risk.
Nonprofit healthcare organizations in particular should consider labeling themselves as a crisis readiness center, so that people in the community know where to turn for assistance. One way to do this is by hosting an emergency preparedness gathering that is open to the public. This will help form relationships within the community, showing them that you are a crisis resource they can rely on. In addition, you can also encourage them to bring blankets, nonperishable food items and cases of water for donation, something that will encourage ownership in your initiative and your brand.
When talking emergency preparedness, it’s especially important for children to understand safety precautions so they know what to do during a disaster. Discussing the importance of updated fire extinguishers and fire alarms for example, can often be a difference maker when the unthinkable occurs. In the end, it is vital that families take the time to make an emergency preparedness plan, including possible fire escape routes, what to do during an earthquake and where to seek shelter in case of tornado or hurricane.
As a Nonprofit Healthcare Organization you are expected to be a trusted resource in times of need, and because you are mission driven, you are often held to a higher standard. Now, it’s just a matter of meeting those expectations on a consistent basis. By becoming a crisis readiness center, you will open doors to new relationships in your community, and in turn, will help you build and strengthen your brand.