It’s the peak of hurricane season along the Gulf coast. Those of us who live here know the drill. Be prepared. Our friends and customers over at Space City Weather help us with that all year long. But, what happens to your website when disaster strikes? In a time of need, your website doesn’t have to be a concern. In fact, it can be an asset and help you weather the storm.
Disaster preparedness is critical for any business’s technology. Obviously, making sure your website hosting is safe and backed up is critical. But, this is about developing a business website that helps rather than hinders in case of emergency.
Have a plan.
This may seem like an oversimplification, but a plan for what you will need from your website in an emergency is as important as coordinating your office. When you are designing a website, keep in mind who will be visiting your site during a disaster. What will they be looking for? How can you best provide the information they need? Building these fundamentals into the core of your website will save time and hassle should the need arise.
Mobile responsive design is critical.
During hurricane evacuations, sometimes your only lifeline is your phone. If your website doesn’t perform well on a mobile device, it will only increase frustration. Make sure that both your public website and your content management system, if you have one, can handle life on the road.
Make news and contact information easy to find.
This is a given for any website, but it is particularly important during emergencies. Link your phone number so a single tap on a phone dials for the end user. Display contact information prominently. Add a spot for critical news and information in case of an emergency on the front page. The better you prepare, the easier it will be down the road.
Use your website to store critical documents and emergency contact information for the staff.
For some, a website can be its own port in the storm. Hosted on a remote server, websites can offer a place to store important documents and information. You can also coordinate it so it works with your Google accounts for documents, calendars and the like. You may even choose a password protected login for your staff and vendors with emergency contact information.
Deliver content to reach out to staff, vendors and customers during a disaster.
One of the best ways to reach out during a storm is via email. Using your website to deliver information via email blasts or through news posts keeps everyone up to date on basic information like office hours and emergency contacts. Simple news updates are also critical to keeping your patrons informed. The more people know, the quicker you can get back up and running when the skies clear.