Disaster/Emergency Communications Prep Must Happen Year-Round

For decades, PR pros planned communication around weather ‘seasons’—hurricane season and tornado season in particular. Each spring, messages were issued with reminders to prepare for possible weather events. In November, we were reminded to prepare for winter weather.

Climate change has upended what we think of as seasons. Typically, April through July is tornado season, and June through November is hurricane season.

In the past few years, though, we have seen devastating tornado events and tropical storms much earlier than the ‘season.’ Extreme rains are more frequent, too, throughout the year, causing more fatal flooding than ever.

Who would have thought we would have more Hurricane Ida casualties in the northeast US than in the Gulf coast? Many organizations likely were unprepared when Ida moved north.

In its 2020 annual crisis report, The Institute for Crisis Management noted there were 416 natural disasters last year, causing twice as much damage as in 2019, according to Statista. The 30 named Atlantic storms exhausted the alphabetical list of names for only the second time.

And then there are earthquakes, which have no season.

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