Public communication is vital to emergency response.  It can never be left to chance.

The 2022 Atlantic hurricane season begins today with the remnants of Pacific hurricane Agatha moving across the Yucatan peninsula. The National Hurricane Center forecasts a 50% chance that the winds will organize and become Tropical Storm Alex. If it does form, Alex is likely to move across the Gulf of Mexico toward the Florida keys. Most Texans can relax.

800 miles away in San Antonio, the 2022 Texas Emergency Management Conference has begun.  Hosted by The Texas A&M System’s Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM), the conference attracts over 2,500 elected officials, first responders, emergency managers, and decision makers from across Texas.

Emergency management professionals don’t relax, they get ready. And today’s readiness includes preparing to communicate and lead in a crisis.

Effective crisis response requires public dialogue with key stakeholders and media, demonstrating commitment to transparency, honesty, accountability, and responsibility. If this dialog starts when the storm makes landfall, it’s already too late.  You’re already trying to catch up.  Active, pre-crisis engagement paves the way for a rapid, organized, and smooth crisis response and reputation enhancement.

Poor communication is poor leadership. The public can forgive an accident or a crisis; it does not forgive a poor response.

So this morning, alongside displays of all-weather command vehicles, standby generators, temporary shelters and other tools of the trade, my firm is meeting with emergency management leaders across Texas to discuss public communication, public leadership and trust.

Effective emergency response isn’t left to chance, and public communication must be an integral part of every crisis plan. Crosswind’s full-cycle approach to crisis communications is a suite of services called CPR+: Crisis Preparation & Response +  Reputation Management.  Our team becomes part of a full-cycle process, from assessment, planning and training to on-site response and recovery.

Crosswind’s crisis communication team has prepared governors, emergency response officials, senior military officers, corporate executives, ambassadors, and operational leaders at all levels. They have experience in assessment, planning, training, and on-scene response. From on-scene commanders to the chief executive, we prepare teams to lead through adversity and harness the power of trust to accelerate your response.

I’m proud of our team, and if we can’t help you, I will refer you to someone who can. Steer clear of those who focus on their ability to “thrive in a crisis.” MacGyver Management – making it up as you go – only works on the TV show.  Much better to think like Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, whose motto is “Be Prepared.”*

A storm is coming, because for emergency managers, a storm is always coming. The National Hurricane Center has a list of 21 names ready for the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season, with more in reserve.  Record temperatures drive wildfire threats throughout the state. Population changes and supply chains in crisis only add to the potential for stress and calamity.

Whether it takes the form of floods, fires, hurricanes, snow, ice, or pandemic, an industrial or business enterprise accident, Texas emergency management leaders are preparing. The conference is where they share ideas and make the human connections that will be needed as one community comes to the aid of another. Crosswind is proud to be in San Antonio alongside these professionals and stand ready to assist.