How to Handle a Natural Disaster on Social Media

Unfortunately, sometimes we can’t plan ahead of natural disasters, but when we can, it’s always good to have a plan of attack so you can be extra prepared. Nowadays, during times of uncertainty and crisis, people tend to jump online quickly to get their questions answered and having real-life updates at their fingertips. Before jumping in, keep these tips in mind during your next natural disaster on social media crisis.

Determine Your Role in this Crisis

Before diving in on every natural disaster crisis, make sure this natural disaster is related to your brand. Jumping on a natural disaster crisis that has nothing to do with your brand or organization can be seen as self-serving. Below is a great checklist to make sure you’re thinking everything through before you activate your crisis plan on your social channels.

  • What do you want your brand’s response to do?
  • Does the crisis directly impact the organization or brand?
  • Is this topic trending on social media platforms? If so, evaluate what other brands’ responses are to the crisis and consider your brand’s unique position on the matter

Activate Crisis Plan

Once you’ve gone through your check list and determined you need to activate your crisis plan, be sure to reach out to your client (if you are the agency handling the crisis) or regroup with your internal team to decide on your social messaging. You’ll also want to look at all upcoming and planned social posts that could be insensitive to share. Promotional posts of any kind should never be posted to social media during these times. We recommend pausing all paid media ads as well. Be sure you have the following ready to go before you address your community:

  • FAQs on comments you might receive when addressing your community on the channels
  • Create a social post to go up on your channels for awareness about the natural disaster
    • Include emergency phone numbers and website
    • Preparation checklists and safety tips
    • Areas affected and impacted
    • Landing page with updated information in the area, if available
    • Local new outlets and resources
    • Thoughts and prayers

Be sure to remain calm on behalf of your communities you serve and keep residents and visitors updated on your social channels because they are the ones counting on you to give them the most up-to-date information possible. Need help on your own crisis plan? We can help with that! Let’s get the conversation started.

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