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How is SOS like a power plant?

Many of you may know me as the SOS community relations director. I have been with SOS one and one-half years. My experience is vast in media/community relations and crisis communications but in other venues than non-profits. I worked for a nuclear power plant for 15 years.

Recently, I caught myself comparing SOS to a nuclear power and realized there are many similarities between the two. They both include chain reactions, emergency planning/safety, crisis communications and a generator.

Let me explain…

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Chain reaction – when one event triggers another event, which in turn triggers another event etc. The overall reaction tends to be self-sustaining.

Being in a relationship that is abusive creates a chain reaction for everyone, especially children. When the nucleus of the family splits, all family members are divided -creating hot tempers and quick reactions.

Emergency preparedness – everything people do carries risk. Nuclear power plants have prepared emergency plans to help employees and the community be safe. Not only do they have a plan but they frequently run drills to ensure the plan is up-to-date and works.

Leaving an abusive situation, removing children from the home and deciding to start over all carry a risk, a very scary risk. But if the risk produces a better outcome, then it is considered to be a “great” risk. Staff help clients create good emergency plans (called safety plans) to help keep everyone safe, regardless if they choose to leave an abusive home. Unfortunately, some of our clients WILL have to use the plan.

Crisis communications – With today’s 24-hour instant news, a crisis can strike at anytime, with audiences judging whether the response is effective from the get-go. Social media enables the public to react before organizations fully know the details of a crisis.

As with any organization, we release only verified information, but must respect our client’s privacy in doing so.  SOS advocates are sanctioned by law that requires them to keep private information about their clients confidential.

Generator – Creates electricity and are sometimes called dynamos.

SOS’s dynamos are the communities we serve. Last year 51 clients were adopted for the holidays, this year we have 222 clients. The outpouring of support for our clients has overwhelmed me. Thank you to our caring and gracious supporters, not for just what you’ve done for us during the holidays, but all year.

Just as a nuclear power plant improves the lives of the public by creating safe energy, SOS seeks to improve the lives of our clients.

By Susan Faler