By Gerard Braud, CSP, Fellow IEC
You may be reading this wondering, why in the world is a crisis communications expert delving out hurricane hacks? Well, I train organizations and companies to prepare for their crises with effective communications strategies before their crises. The same principle applies when it comes to facing the crisis of a hurricane. Prepare early. Prepare before the hurricane hits.
In hurricane hack #1 I talked about a refrigerator hurricane hack, then I delivered hurricane hack #2, the bathtub hack, which could really save you and your family during and after a tropical storm or hurricane. Today’s tip is a little unexpected, and involves bartering during a hurricane. View the video here:
There was a “perfect storm” when Hurricane Katrina hit, as it fell on Labor Day weekend. I evacuated to Florida, and all of the Florida stores were stocked up on beer for the Labor Day weekend. Along with all my power tools I stocked in my car to take back to Louisiana to use to repair my home, I also stocked up on beer, which was selling for dirt cheap.
Florida stores needed to get rid of it after the holiday weekend, and I brought it home knowing my hometown would be wiped out of such a commodity. Not to mention, the sale of liquor and beer is cut off after a hurricane to help prevent communities from abusing such a substance during a difficult time.
Well, the beer worked like magic. As soon as I returned home, contractors and repair men were completely swamped with work. I needed my electricity back on, my yard cleared of tree limbs, and offering the workers a simple beer got my job pushed to the top of the list. The beer came in handy in many of my negotiations over the next few days.
Beer. The ultimate hurricane hack. Buy it BEFORE the storm, so you have it after the storm. Beer is great for barter.
If you liked this hurricane hack, stay tuned for more hurricane hacks and crisis communications tips on the BraudCast YouTube channel!
Crisis communications and media training expert Gerard Braud, CSP, Fellow IEC is based in New Orleans. Organizations on five continents have relied on him to write their crisis communications plans and to train their spokespeople. He is the author of “Don’t Talk to the Media Until…”