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Winter Weather Preparations: How to Solve Communication Challenges


Winter is quickly approaching, which means frigid temperatures, icy roads, and snow in many areas of the United States. However, there is still plenty of time to get ready for winter, and organizations that act now can avoid serious problems during the season.


Unfortunately, it can be difficult to predict when a winter storm will occur or its severity. Many meteorologists use advanced technologies to study weather patterns, and these tools provide valuable insight to help people get ready for winter.


Jason Lynn, senior vice president of forecast services at Weather Decision Technologies, and Ed Berry, senior scientist and forecaster at WDT, recently used a global synoptic dynamic model to make winter weather predictions for the upcoming season. The model showed below-average temperatures were possible across the eastern and central portions of the U.S. this winter, while a heavy precipitation event was possible in the Southwest.


A global synoptic dynamic model can help organizations prepare for winter, but it is merely one of several tools that these groups can use to better understand weather-related incidents. While new technologies are revolutionizing weather predictions, there are many simple ways to manage winter crises.


The following tips can help individuals solve communication challenges and minimize the impact of winter weather:


1. Plan for the entire event – A winter storm rarely happens in a nutshell, and devoting the necessary time and resources to winter storm preparations is critical. Consider a storm’s life cycle to manage challenges throughout the entire event.


2. Test your systems and procedures in advance – Develop and implement a crisis communication strategy before the season. Ensure all of your systems and procedures work properly to resolve any potential communication issues.


3. Focus on message construction – Consider how you will communicate with key stakeholders during a winter storm: What information do these constituents need? How will you share information with them quickly and efficiently? Utilizing an emergency notification system and examining your message construction helps you deliver critical information without delays or interference, regardless of the winter event.


4. Use multi-modal communications – Get up-to-date contact information from stakeholders and send notifications via multiple contact paths (emails, push notifications, SMS, etc.). Leverage multi-modal communications to target the individual during winter storms and deliver messages until each respondent confirms receipt.


5. Don’t forget about social media – Twitter, weather feeds, and various social networks provide significant value, especially during a winter storm. Organizations can utilize social media to gather situational intelligence throughout the life cycle of a winter storm and provide up-to-the-minute information about this event.


Take a proactive approach to winter preparations – resolve communication challenges in advance to get ready for winter.