An emergency is an unforeseen situation that calls for immediate action. Floods, earthquakes, and other such situations are emergencies that call for urgent measures. Today the entire world is in an emergency situation with the Coronavirus spreading fast and wide.COVID-19 is the name of the flu that originated from Wuhan and has spread across the world. Countries like Italy are facing a major crisis with thousands of cases and hundreds of death each day. Even in the US, cases are increasing day by day as administrators struggle to bring things under control.

People across the world are in panic mode, worrying about what to do and what not to do. This is where systematic action is needed to resolve the crisis. One of the important things to do in such a situation is to have a proper system of communication. It is not just between the government and citizens but even businesses need a proper channel of communication to keep employees as well as customers updated. One of the best ways of doing this is through text messaging.

With the advent of social media, many people tend to ignore text messaging. In reality, it is the most effective means of communication. Messages sent to mobile phones will reach the recipient irrespective of whether they have internet connectivity or not. Studies have shown that 97% of people open messages they get on their mobile phones. This ensures that a text message is the most reliable way of communication today. SMS messaging can be effectively used in today’s Corona emergency.

The following explains the role of text messaging in times of emergencies as we have now:

1) Businesses can send health-related alerts and information

Businesses can get information from official sources and then disseminate them to their employees. Health-related alerts are important and need to be shared to give authentic information. This includes information on Corona cases, government measures to tackle these cases, information on lockdown announced by the government, etc. This information needs to be known by everyone. A business can use text messaging to send this information to all its employees. Any alerts or important announcements can also be sent immediately. For example, if the government announces a lockdown in a particular city or area, information about this can be sent to employees so they can stay safe.

2) Information on business operations can be sent

Some businesses would continue their operations while others may restrict them. Businesses whose operations are critical may have to continue operations. For instance, a hospital has to remain open for people. Similarly, a pharmacy or a grocery shop comes under essential services. All other organizations can limit their operations depending on the need. Each organization has its own means of doing this.

Some organizations ask minimum staff to report to work while others can work at home. In such a situation, communication is important. Employees need to be informed of these measures on time and also of changes in schedules. Employees who need to report to the office need to be informed.

Messaging can ensure this is done instantly. Those who are running stores can send information on store operating hours, guidelines and procedures to be maintained, etc through text messaging. In case the government announces a lockdown or a business decides to shut its operations due to an increase in Corona cases, then this information can be sent instantly on messages so that all employees are aware of the same.

3) Businesses can use text messaging to provide valuable information.

COVID-19 needs extra care in terms of hygiene. Whether it is washing of hands, avoiding touching one’s face, or practicing social distances it is proved that these norms can prevent Corona from spreading. Businesses can send text messages to both customers and employees on these hygiene practices. Also, hygiene practices followed in stores and offices can be informed so that they are followed to prevent the spread of this deadly disease.

4) Businesses can update customers

Customers need to be updated with information on whether an office/store is open or not. Information on how to access the services of the business, operating hours, whom to contact, mode of contact, etc. needs to be given to customers. Text messaging can be useful in keeping customers updated so that they don’t face problems.

As explained above text messaging can be very effectively used to communicate with people in emergency situations. Businesses can use text messaging to be in touch with employees and customers and keep them updated. Text messaging software can be used to make this process easy. All mobile numbers of customers and employees can be saved and even text groups created making it easy to send messages. In a medical emergency like today, text messaging is a powerful communication tool.

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