What is with all the disaster and crisis posts popping up on intranet blogs lately? Tornado, volcano, sharknado.
Sure, an intranet is useful in those hypothetical situations. But how will your intranet software actually prepare you for the very real, upcoming zombie apocalypse? Glad you asked because I put a lot of thought into this. I hear you laughing, but sober up cupcake. You’ll be glad to have this on hand when the zombies start coming for you.
Don’t believe in zombies? That’s ok. Those who do will be the ones to survive. In any case, This guide is helpful for other kinds of “real” emergencies, like an earthquake, fire or any of the above-mentioned disasters. Point is, you’ve got this guide on hand for when things get real.
Before the Crisis
"By failing to prepare, you are preparing to be eaten. "
– Benjamin Franklin (kinda)
As the CDC or any other disaster expert will tell you, preparation is key to your survival. On top of an emergency kit, you need a plan.
Did you know that if you’re a full-time employee, you’re working 2,080 hours or more per year? This means there’s a higher chance you’re in your office when the zombie apocalypse hits. Kiss your SO, kids, dog, cat, gerbil, whomever goodbye, because your colleagues are your new family.
All you need in this pre-crisis stage is to connect with your fellow realists and prepare an emergency plan.
Create a “Don’t Get Eaten” hub.
If your intranet is worth its salt, you should have access to a social hub. Start a hub, plainly labelled “Zombie Apocalypse” or the cheekier, “Don’t Get Eaten”, and start your recruitment. Make the hub an invite-only and search for colleagues most likely to survive when Patient Zero starts biting. For instance, you’ve seen the way Martha in accounting staples those documents; she has the potential to be your team’s Lead Bruiser for sure.
To weed out potential teammates from the zombie bait, design a quiz through your workflow process with questions like:
How’s your right hook?
How fast can you run?
Are you experienced in handling an AT-4 Rocket Launcher?
Do you own a samurai sword, cricket bat, cast-iron skillet, machete, or similar?
Be creative, and don’t be afraid to ask the hard questions or request interested colleagues from other locations to form their own satellite hubs instead of joining yours. This is about survival, people.
Just a note, these questions might not work so great for other crises, so adjust them to suit the respective topic at hand.
Once people are signed up, you can start preparing:
Share information, resources, plan meeting points and stay in touch via group chat and notifications.
Pick a central safe area that might be difficult for zombies to access within your building and one place outside so people have a safe spot to hunker down in case they can’t reach the main hold-out.
Set up a security system with access only through a daily-changing code only accessible through a permissions-based project page.
Make a poll on your hub where people can suggest and vote on the most strategic and comfortable hidey-holes. Just make sure there’s enough space for everyone to live there agreeably, you don’t want this to turn into a Lord of the Flies situation.
Think about strategy. Does your building have a Heli-pad? Then stake out a space on the top floor. We’re talking about zombies here, and you always want the high ground.
Note: This isn’t such a great idea if there’s fire or earthquake where you might need to get out quickly. So once more, plan accordingly.
Make sure to map out escape routes, fire exits, and meeting points. When you have your fellow survivalists signed up on your hub, create a private chat group so you can stay in contact. Realistically, you will have access to electricity, WIFI and data in the beginning weeks of a zombie apocalypse. Use it to your advantage and stay in contact with each other.
Once you have your location, hold meetings there. Come up with a fitness plan, run drills, bulk up your emergency kit, hold a zombie book club, and share your research of the Walking Dead, Shaun of the Living Dead, Zombieland, and other related documentaries.
Your intranet is the center of your company. It holds all important information through cloud storage and makes all uploaded content searchable. Which is why it’s a perfect place to keep all zombie research and links.
Info you need to be sure to include:
Succession. This is the reality of it; people will be bitten, and it doesn’t matter their rank or title. Which is why you should have a succession plan in place. Like a telephone tree, but it’s a tree where the bite is worse than the bark.
Create a policies and procedures homepage. People need important info such as First Aid (like how to care for a burn, bandage injuries or even amputate limbs after a bite), policies on quarantine, procedures in the evacuation. Hard and fast rules can also go here, like always take a bathroom buddy as you never want to find yourself in a bad situation with your pants down.
Something fun. Zombies can be a depressing subject, so make it fun with an RSS feed of articles from REI, survivalist editorials, and daily updates from the CDC, DEC, FEMA, etc. This is also great for other emergency situations, so keep an open mind. Just ixnay on a countdown timer. Not so great for morale.
To keep things lighthearted and not spook the zombie bait, make a company-wide event for a marathon or MMA championship and train for it. Invite others outside of the team into training as well. Who knows? Maybe they become valuable zombie-fighting warriors and you can grow your team.
Encourage zombie bait to fundraise and cheer for your team via your intranet homepage and hubs. Then, use the money to buy armor.
During the Crisis
In any kind of crisis, most especially when the zombies start their long, slow crawl towards fresh meat, one thing is absolutely crucial – communication. Getting across important information in a timely manner and making sure people read it, is the difference between running away from zombies or stumbling about as a zombie.Oak’s residential customer support expert, Doug Wood, who also happens to be our local zombie-enthusiast, chimes in with how an intranet is helpful when the zombies hit the fan.
According to Doug, “Nothing says Listen to me when you crank your notices up to 11 and flag them as needing to be read at login. If they refuse to acknowledge the content then, they get kicked out and are denied access. Anyone found ignoring the notices at this point, is surely wanting to become a zombie anyway?”
Good point, Doug. Here’s a few other points of sound advice when trying to avoid the swarm of flesh-munchers.
You’ve become aware of a horde approaching your company building. Everyone else is typing away, blissfully unaware of the encroaching undead. A quick Newsupdate, marked with a notification, quickly flags the message out to your “Don’t Get Eaten” hub members, who have the app installed on their phone. This allows them to collect their favourite stapler and last bite of sandwich and head for the previously determined safehold. Through the app, they’ll be able to access the base camp security codes and hunker down while waiting for the rest of the hub-members join in.
Having a live method of communication removes any possibility of nasty rumours getting about. Such as, is Greg from HR really a zombie or has he always walked like that? If it comes down to finding out if poor Greg is only sleep-deprived or hungry for brains, having a way to pre-emptively beat those rumours can be the difference between life or undead.
Using a Notices feature can immediately and effectively get that info across to your fellow survivalists as you get an audit trail of who has and who hasn’t read the update. As this feature can be seen across desktops, laptops, tablets and phones, there’s no excuse for not seeing it. That is, if they haven’t gotten too close to Greg, of course.
Fighting zombies isn’t 24/7. There will be some downtime that can last hours, possibly days. And, nothing says zombie apocalypse than a survivor’s diary. Record your adventures, upload pics and video and @tag with fellow survivalist hubs through your timeline. There you can also share tips, like how those moldy leftovers can turn into a delicious three-course meal or even how to fashion a combat printer-boomerang.
Your intranet as the braaaaaiiins of crisis preparation
While the theme of this blog post is a bit of fun, the features and functionalities mentioned are still very much valid for crisis preparation. Your intranet is a powerful tool and can help bring everyone together safely when it matters most. Thinking outside the box about what kind of features can work before and during a situation can keep your teams feeling supported and informed which leaves your workforce confident in managing any crisis that may arise.
To find out more about how your intranet can help in times of crisis, contact us for more information or book a demo. We’re happy to help.
Allegra is Oak’s expert content writer known for her humility, hilarious self-deprecating humour, and stunning intellect. She provides absurdly helpful content (sometimes through absurd themes, such as zombies) about employee engagement, creating awesome work cultures and solutions to internal comms challenges. Allegra is American, but that's not held against her as long as she writes in the Queen's English. You can find her typing away in the 'special corner' at Oak's Gateshead office.