Still No Emergency Communications Plans? EMCOMM West Update

Do You Really Need a Personal Emergency Communications Plan? You tell me.

I recently wrote an article titled “A Chink in Your Emcomm Armor“, in which I described the need for people in emergency communications roles of any kind to have personal emcomm plans, in order to ensure they would be available in an emergency, versus doing their best to get home and check on family, neighbors, etc.

Then I went to EMCOMM West, a fun gathering of emcomm professionals in Reno, Nevada. The audience for my talk was about 50 people (I was excited to speak to a crowded room!), and I asked the same questions I’ve asked before.

“How many of you have some kind of emergency communications role, whether paid or volunteer?” Everyone but one person raised their hands.

“How many of you have a personal emergency communications plan?” … Not one hand went up.

I see this as opportunity, and in fact the topic of my class was “How to create your personal emcomm plan,” and we walked through a template, with people filling in options as we went. So am I surprised by the answers I got? No.

Now I have a different question, for everyone. Do you think people really need such a plan? Is it overkill? Am I tilting at windmills when I propose that everyone who has an emcomm role should have a personal plan in place? For that matter, what about people who aren’t interested in emergency communications, but who are still interested in disaster preparedness in general? I’d love to hear what you think. Maybe I’m biased. Maybe I’m taking an extreme approach. Or maybe I’m right on the money. What say you?