What’s in your communications disaster kit?

Originally written for posting on the Kansas Credit Union Association website.

Severe weather is upon us, and we have all heard the importance of having a personal severe weather kit with water, batteries, flashlight, important documents, medication… anything you need in case of a weather disaster.

But what’s in your communications disaster kit? What do you need in case your credit union is affected by severe weather? What if your branch or office is damaged by a tornado? You would probably want to spread the word to your members and the media. Would you be able to find everything you need quickly?

Here’s a few items to get your started:

Press release templates.

You don’t want to be re-creating the wheel when you are trying to disseminate news quickly.

Media contact lists.
Make sure you have names, phone numbers, email addresses and social media accounts handles.

You never know when someone might need one.

Contact information of leaders in your organization.
In times of a disaster, reporters and others might want to talk with the CEO, President or Board Chairman of your organization. Mobile phone numbers and email addresses are important.

Passwords to your website, social media accounts and other important websites.
Even if your work computer is unavailable, you can still keep your website up to date if you can log in from another computer. If you have an app on your smartphone, make sure you have access to your credit union’s social media accounts. Sometimes social media is the only way to inform the public.

Important information about your credit union.
Fact sheets, number of branches and their phone numbers and addresses, number of members, staff or volunteers, field of membership information and historical information is a good start.

Consider putting the above items as well as other important documents on a thumb drive, in case you are unable to log into your work computer, or you lose power at your location and have to use a different computer.

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