In many ways, your nonprofit’s website is the most visible part of your organization’s operations. It’s natural that in a time of disaster, people who care about your nonprofit will turn to your website for updates. Unfortunately, maintaining your website during a disaster — let alone adding needed updates — may be too difficult, especially if your computers are damaged. That’s why it’s a good idea to construct a backup web presence that you can use during a crisis to keep your constituents informed.It’s good to think about how you’re using technology to reach out to your community long before a disaster strikes, for many reasons. We don’t have time to go the nuances of your nonprofit’s social media strategy here, but here are some resources to get you started:
Depending on the needs of your organization, it might be a good idea to set up an emergency website that can keep followers aware of developments surrounding a disaster more quickly than your regular site. For example, you can send updates to your Twitter feed from mobile phones and other devices, so you can communicate with friends of your organization through Twitter even without a computer or regular internet access.
If the main way you communicate with your constituents online is through a blog or Facebook page, you can use the RSS feeds from those sources to display updates on your emergency homepage as well. What’s most important is that your emergency website display up-to-date news and contact information, especially if your organization provides support to people impacted by disasters.
Chapter 2: Documentation and Your Master Key
Documentation is your first and most important defense against a disaster, natural or otherwise. No matter the state of your technical infrastructure, you should have the following information available in a form that’s easily accessible for anyone who might be tasked with repairing, restoring, or changing your organization’s tech infrastructure.
Although you may have pieces of this information scattered in various binders and email accounts, you’ll thank yourself later for compiling it safely and accessibly in one place. Losing your web hosting information or communication with the one volunteer who knows all of your passwords can exacerbate a disaster.
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