Crisis communication in massive power outage reveals important lessons

Major crises or emergency events almost always reveal important lessons about crisis communication. That certainly is true of yesterday’s massive power outage affecting San Diego, parts of Mexico and Arizona. There are lessons here about the resilience of the Internet, the futility of putting on a press conference when there is a massive power outage, the critical importance of Twitter, the need for websites that will stay up during major power outages and events, and a very bad example of no apology or empathy.

Having strong interest in what happens in communications in large power outages, I tracked this event with a timeline and screen captures as communications evolved. Here is my record and some lessons learned.

Sept 8 Power Outage Early Communications Analysis


3 thoughts on “Crisis communication in massive power outage reveals important lessons”

  1. Shows that when everything goes dark, Twitter shines. Good reason for emergency agencies to keep up on their Twitter accounts.

  2. I don’t know the exact time, but shortly after the power went out, a coworker mentioned that SDGE had tweeted there was a massive blackout, no cause known, but they were working on it. Think it was maybe 10-15 after the event began. Also, I found a lot of info on Facebook through my friends. Realized very quickly that the outage was widespread with no resolution in sight and that I better get on the road home quickly before the traffic got worse! Ultimately, I got in my car and tuned into a radio station that provided the bulk of information throughout the blackout and after.

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