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How Mass Texting Allows Property Managers to Stay Ahead of the Storm

Inclement weather can strike at any time, and if action isn't taken quickly, it can create significant safety issues and financial implications. Over the last seven years in the United States, 122 separate billion-dollar disasters have killed at least 5,000 people and cost greater than $1 trillion in damage. And in 2022 alone, the United States experienced 18 billion-dollar weather and climate disasters.

As a property manager, there's a lot of weight on your shoulders when it comes to keeping your residents and property safe during these natural disasters, and one of the best ways to keep your community safe during these events is through a solid communication plan.

In 2022, weather-related messages were the top messaging topic sent from our platform. Our customers used mass messaging to keep their contacts informed throughout Hurricane Ian, the North American winter storm in December, the mid-year Kentucky floods, and many other localized severe weather events.

In this blog post, we'll walk through a practical application of how to keep your tenants informed about emergency weather, including what to write in your message, how to use a mass messaging platform, and some tips for keeping your tenants safe during a weather emergency. 

Creating an emergency communication plan

1. Build a list of your tenants' contact information

Before you can start sending out emergency weather alerts, you'll need to have a list of all your tenants' contact information. This can include their first name, last name, phone numbers and email addresses, all of which usually will be gathered when they sign their lease. If you don't already, get their consent to send them emergency-related text messages during the lease-signing process.

For safety reasons, it's essential to ensure that your contact information for each tenant is up to date. Encourage tenants to update their contact information regularly, so you can reach them in case of an emergency.

2. Choose a mass texting platform

Next, you'll need to choose a mass texting platform like Text-Em-All. This will enable you to send customized messages to your entire tenant list and track who has received and responded to your messages. When choosing a mass texting platform, look for one that offers a user-friendly interface, the ability to schedule messages in advance, and detailed reporting and analytics to help you track message engagement. 

While there are a variety of great reasons to use our service every month, such as maintenance or event notifications, our Credits plan will also allow you to only use our service on an emergency basis for severe weather events.

Reach your tenants in seconds with Text-Em-All

With Text-Em-All, you can easily keep residents and staff in the loop about rent reminders, community projects, inspections, severe weather alerts, and much more. Don't miss out on the benefits of text messaging for property management- start using it today

3. Craft your emergency weather message

When drafting your emergency weather message, you want to make sure that the message is clear and concise. Keep in mind that your tenants will likely be receiving the message on their mobile devices, so it's important to keep the message short and to the point.

Start with a clear and attention-grabbing headline that alerts tenants to the situation. For example, "Emergency Weather Alert: Tornado Warning in Effect" or "Winter Storm Warning: Take Precautions Now."

Next, provide essential information such as the type of weather event, any safety precautions tenants should take, and updates on building closures or delays.

For example, your message might read: "Attention tenants: There is currently a tornado warning in effect for our area. Please take shelter in the designated safe areas of the building until the warning is lifted. If you are not currently in the building, do not attempt to come to the property until it is safe to do so. Stay tuned for further updates."

4. Schedule your message

Once you've created your emergency weather message, you can schedule it to be sent at a specific time or send it immediately. If the weather event is ongoing, consider sending regular updates to keep tenants informed and reassured.

Most mass texting platforms offer the option to schedule messages in advance, which can be helpful if you know that a storm or other weather event is headed your way.

5. Monitor responses

After sending your message, it's important to monitor responses to ensure that all of your tenants received the message and are taking appropriate action. In your Text-Em-All account, you can track responses and see who has received your messages. If any of your tenants didn't receive the message, you can reach out to them again or use a different mode of communication, such as an in-person visit or email. 

It's also essential to provide ongoing updates as the situation develops. If the weather event worsens or changes, make sure to send out additional messages to keep your tenants informed.

6. Review and update your emergency plan

Finally, since there usually isn't much of a heads-up when it comes to emergencies, it's important to review and update your emergency plan regularly. This includes updating tenant contact information, revising emergency messaging templates, and ensuring your staff is trained to respond quickly and effectively in inclement weather. One of the best ways to be prepared for an emergency situation is to set up and save message templates in advance for each type of emergency weather situation that could occur in your area. Text message templates can easily be adjusted at the time you go to schedule or send the text. 

By following these steps and using mass texting to communicate emergency weather information to your tenants, you can help keep everyone safe and informed during severe weather events.