Posted by: Marty Fahncke | August 8, 2007

Communication after a disaster

Greensburg, Kansas after the tornado of 2007

On May 4th, 2007, the town of Greensburg, Kansas was hit by a tornado, leveling 90% of the entire town. 

A few weeks ago, I heard from one of the organizations helping in the rebuilding efforts, called Greensburg GreenTown

They were trying to figure out how to best communicate important rebuilding information to the 1,500 residents of Greensburg, who are now scattered across several counties, living with friends, relatives, and in trailers and RV’s.  

Because everyone is scattered about, it has been very difficult to reach all of the residents in a timely manner with important information and announcements.  

Also, because most of the residents lost everything in the tornado, including their computers, email wasn’t an option for broadcasting information.

Now this was something I hadn’t really thought much about when these things happen.  Whether it’s 9/11, Katrina, or Greensburg, one of the things you don’t think about is “how do we communicate with everyone involved?”

Yet communication is SO important!

After some discussion, we did determine that pretty much all of the residents had access to a little thing called a TELEPHONE!  Whether a mobile phone or a land line where they were staying, nearly everyone had access to a telephone, even if everything else had been lost.

Upon coming to that realization, I immediately donated one of our Conference Call University teleseminar bridge lines to the cause.  This line can connect as many as 350 people at a time to each other, and /or to a presenter who may have vital information about the rebuilding efforts. 

I recently heard from Daniel Wallach, the Director of Greensburg GreenTown, who said “Thank you for the very generous gift of an unlimited conference call line for meetings and committees! This has proven to be a very helpful tool in the rebuilding  process!”

Glad I could help Daniel. 

If you would like to help in the Greensburg rebuilding efforts by donating money or services, please click here.


  1. […] Yesterday, I blogged about communication in a disaster. […]

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