We hope you’re staying dry, safe and out of Sandy’s way. Despite the impending storm, Mobile Commons is hard at work to make sure all our clients have the proper tools to reach their mobile subscribers on the East Coast. In times of natural disasters or emergencies, SMS is a very effective way to reach everyone quickly and efficiently. As you already know, nearly every text message is read, so this is the perfect tool to get important information out there in a timely fashion.
Here are a few helpful use cases and ideas to help you and your subscribers manage the storm:
- Send Out Reminders: Remind your subscribers in the Northeast what items they should pack in their emergency kit and to remember to stay indoors.
- Send Out Emergency Alerts: Keep your subscribers informed of any school, road, public transportation, and office closings in the area.
- Provide Local Assistance: Remember to take advantage of mData and ask your subscribers to text in their zip code to get information on weather, local storm shelters, and evacuation zones.
- Enable Text-to-Call: Enable Mobile Commons’ text-to-call feature and make it easy for subscribers to connect with someone if they need assistance.
- Ask Subscribers to Share Ideas: Review the crowd-sourcing section of the Mobile Commons non-profit site, which includes historical crowd-sourcing campaigns for organizations like WNYC and the Human Rights Campaign. This could also be a great way to ask people how they are preparing and share ideas as KALW did in their Earthquake preparedness map.
- Stay in Touch with Subscribers: Last year, during Hurricane Irene, our CEO Jed spoke with MSNBC about how some clients were using crowd-sourcing to stay in touch with New Yorkers about the impact of the storm and damages.
- Remind Subscribers to Text, Don’t Call: Once the storm hits, wireless carriers remind mobile users to text, don’t call. “Limit non-emergency calls to save battery power and free up wireless networks for emergency workers and operations and send brief text messages instead,” Verizon Wireless says in a hurricane preparedness statement.
As the storm passes, remember to also ask your subscribers to sign up for alerts when things are finally back online! It’s important to let your subscribers know of outage,s but just as important to let your subscribers know when it’s safe to go back home, when transportation may be up and running again, and when schools will be opened.Use this time to fully engage with your mobile subscribers and continue to provide information (when they need it the most) over the next few days.
If you have any further questions or suggestions, contact your mobile strategist. And as always, please feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.